N&O love

And here I thought it was just going to be an on line thing, but no, an actual article in the Living section of the News and Observer! Excited!!!


Stylin': Handmade jewelry line offers a mix of contrasts

Correspondent July 9, 2014 

Liz Esser of Raleigh created Haden Designs to sell her ever-evolving line of handmade jewelry.


Living in the diamond district in New York City, Liz Esser had a hard time resisting the temptation of her surroundings. But hers wasn’t an addiction to acquiring and wearing sparkly things; she was more interested in the abundance of materials available to make her own.

“I was a fine arts major in college with concentrations in metals and ceramics,” she says. “So, being in this location was amazing, yet dangerous. I would go and get whatever I wanted to in order to make a necklace or earrings.”

Esser began making her own jewelry, which caught the attention of friends and even passersby, inspiring her to start a little side business.

“When I had people off the street ask me where I got what I was wearing, I decided I would make and sell what I would wear,” she says. “I was always making new pieces to wear with whatever outfit I decided on for the morning – it wasn’t uncommon that I would be finishing a piece on the subway on my way to work.”

When she and her husband relocated to Raleigh, Esser decided to dedicate more time to the business and gave it a proper name: Haden Designs. Esser creates chunky jewelry for women featuring everything from semi-precious stones to found objects and even necklaces with tiny chalkboard pendants.

“I like when a piece looks balanced, well…balanced to me,” she says. “Balanced in my eye is when you don’t have too much of one thing – you need the right mix of contrast. Oxidized and repurposed chain with a highly polished stone or natural rough look of leather with shiny gold filled chain.

“I stay away from only using one type of material because I can’t achieve that balanced look, and found materials are a great way to add contrast to more traditional types of jewelry-making materials. This also creates a line of product which is one-of-a-kind or limited-run production. It’s an ever-evolving line because of the materials I choose to use.”

Currently, Esser’s jewelry can be found at the Visual Art Exchange and NOFO at the Pig, both in Raleigh, as well as online at etsy.com/shop/hadendesigns. The stay-at-home mom hopes to expand availability and the line itself in the future, but for now, she’s enjoying her home-work life balance.

“My business – through all the ups and downs, successes and lulls – has followed the pattern of my life,” she says. “I decided when I was going to be a stay-at-home mom that the family was priority number one. When I’m in a lull period of my business, I just have to remind myself it’s OK, life needs me elsewhere. I would like to grow the company … and I can see that happening in the future.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/09/3994469/stylin-handmade-jewelry-line-offers.html#storylink=cpy