Many many years ago I went to a party in Malibu and met Ariel Gordon through a mutual friend. I had complimented her on her necklace and she quickly replied, “I made it!” I instantly loved her humor, down-to-earth spirit, style and we quickly bonded.
She had just started her eponymous jewelry line and I was pursuing my “hobby” at the time called Could I Have That? We joined forces when she needed to create a lookbook and had the best time hopping around Santa Barbara taking pictures. It was one of the first creative collaborations I did and to this day I’m obsessed with Ariel Gordon Jewelry. So much so I recently made a special trip to catch her while she was visiting her studio in LA (she recently moved her adorable family to the Bay Area) to check out her latest collection. We don’t get to see each other often but when we do, it’s like we picked up right where we left off.
I’m constantly taking notes on the way Ariel layers and wears her jewelry.
She has it down when it comes to combining the right lengths, the perfect combination of chains or stacking rings. One thing I loved about her layering game this visit was the addition of a pearl mixed in with her other gold pieces. And her latest collection that was released earlier this month has some designs that I’m crazy about—see the pearl drop earrings that I’m wearing.
She Brough it Back…
One piece I’ve worn nearly everyday since I got it three years ago is this Fatty Ring. I get so many questions about it and for a while Ariel stopped making it… until recently! It’s the best chunky piece to include in the mix and I love how minimal it is with a subtle line of diamonds.
10 Questions for Ariel
If there’s one way to describe Ariel it’s that she’s a complete and total BOSS. She built her business all on her own, has incredible style, is the mother to two kiddos under 5 (a full-time job in itself!) and is often times traveling between LA, New York and San Francisco. While she makes it look easy she’ll be the first to open up and talk about the days that are a complete uphill climb.
What motivated you to start your jewelry business?
I was working as a publicist in the entertainment industry and I didn’t feel a connection to what I was doing…at all. I’d always loved jewelry and knew there was a way for me to create pieces that were singular and representative of not just what I wanted to wear, but what I knew so many women like me were wanting. There was a desire to start right away, but I also wanted to create pieces that had the craftsmanship and artistan qualities that I looked for in jewelry, so I went back to school to learn the trade and bring my unique perspective and aesthetic to the industry. I was looking for something inherently more fulfilling, and I found it.
What pieces do you never take off?
At any given point I have a lot on… 6 rings, 5 bracelets, 7 earrings, 3 necklaces, 2 anklets, 1 toe ring. I’ve started layering charms on my Imperial Disc (it’s engraved with Luca and Mia’s names on it) like the Baroque Pearl Drop with our birthstones + a small heart Lumière Locket (engraved with my husband’s name) onto the single chain and it’s always with me—I love a combination of personal pieces, birthstones, and perennial favorites. I layer this with a spot chain and a diamond ember necklace.
What’s the hardest part of your day? And the easiest/favorite?
The hardest part is always getting everyone up and dressed and ready in the morning. My husband works in commercial construction so he’s out of the house by 6 most days. That means I’m solo trying to get the kids dressed and fed and out the door, get myself prepped for a day in the city (usually working from my outpost at The Wing in San Fran), and there are a lot of moving parts. My favorite part is bedtime when the night’s winding down. After the kids take a bath, we do stories together snuggling on the floor of Luca’s room.
Your advice to someone who is balancing motherhood and a career?
I think anyone who is a mom and has a career or owns a business and says they have it all figured out isn’t being completely honest. Balance doesn’t exist and I think it’s unrealistic to think there is. What I try to be diligent about is structuring my time – when I’m working I’m working. When I’m with the kids then I’m with the kids. It’s when I try to do both at the same time that both suffer. I have an incredibly supportive husband who can handle the kids when I travel with the help of our nanny and my in-laws. My team in the office knows my kid’s school schedule and we work around it. But I do feel spread thin constantly. Such is life. We keep going.
Any health, beauty or wellness practices you love?
I can get pretty run down by all the traveling I do, so I’ve been trying to up my beauty and wellness game and that entails a few things: an overindulgent splurge at Violet Grey every few visits to LA; my own bath time rituals with GOOP soaks and salts; brows by Kristie Streicher—been going for years, and I’ll never give that up; eyelash extensions to make me feel and look more awake than I am; and a massage just about anywhere I can squeeze on in. When I’m in San Fran, I sneak in a facial (when I’m lucky enough to get an appointment) with Kristina Holey.
How do you fill your cup up when you’re feeling run-down?
A trip to LA to be in the office with the girls. When I’m in LA, it’s always the quickest trip and being in the office with my team, and fun catch-up dinners with girlfriends, are the quickest way to revive my spirit and connect with people close to my business, or running their own, who always keep me grounded, and are there for advice and encouragement when I need it most.
Biggest lesson in motherhood? And biggest lesson in owning your own business?
No two days are the same. Some days I’m a hero and other days, it’s a (very steep) uphill climb. I think in both motherhood and business, you have to be humble to learn and grow and become better. I’ve learned to be gentle with myself. I’m a naturally driven person which means I want to do all the things right now. Sometimes a 2019 goal needs to shift to be a 2020 goal. I’m learning to put my ego aside and be ok with that pace. I have to surrender to time and energy limitations otherwise you can go overboard and that imbalance is what really gets you down.
Current guilty pleasure?
The Dropout Podcast and gummy candy from Ikea (don’t judge)
What are you doing for Mother’s Day?
Alex and I will take the kids to Tomales Bay for a day by the water, some good food, and hopefully some quiet time away from our devices.
One thing you’re coveting?
Recently I’ve really had my eye on our Diamond Bezel Tennis Bracelet. I have so many daintier pieces stacked that I think I’m yearning for something more serious. It still obviously goes with everything I have, but it goes a long way and really dresses things up. You know, #adulting.