Jewels, Gems, and a Dream: 5 Questions with Jewelry Maker Erin McDermott

Erin McDermott
Photo Courtesy of StyleBlueprint and Piper Warlick Photography.

Erin McDermott White, the creator of Erin McDermott Jewelry, designs and handcrafts colorful, unique jewelry with an aesthetic that she describes as “a fresh and modern spin on timeless classics.” All of Erin’s pieces transition perfectly, which has led to her line’s popularity: you can see her pieces worn on fashion-forward Charlotteans at work, women attending a black-tie function, and being worn by people running their weekend errands. Erin answered our questions on everything from her own favorite accessory to the first piece of jewelry she ever handcrafted.

If you could only wear one accessory again, ever, what would it be?
It would most likely be just a simple signature gold necklace – similar to the Lucky 13 Stack Necklace (I always like to have just a little something around my neck that is unique and brings me luck).

Who is a style icon of yours when it comes to accessories and jewelry in particular?
I really like the way my sister can put together a look. She gives me so many great ideas when designing jewelry – she’s the one who encouraged me to do more mixed metals. She’ll wear a wrap leather bracelet and effortlessly mix it with a fun bangle and some gold stack bracelets. She reminds me that if you have the confidence, you can mix and match anything!

Do you remember the very first piece of jewelry you ever made?
I sure do… it was a necklace made from buttons and I wore it for an entire year. My parents have a glass fish bowl in their house and it’s filled with buttons and all sorts of odds & ends. In fifth grade, I took a string and made a “button” necklace with all the pieces in the fish bowl. I thought I was the coolest!

What’s your stance on the long-standing debate: can you mix gold and silver or never?
YES!!! In fact, some of my most popular pieces are a mix of gold and silver. I love to integrate both materials in a fun and playful way. The Hendrix Earrings and the Abbey Road Necklace are two popular pieces mixing gold and silver. I also love rose gold and enjoy mixing all three of those metals together, too.

What do you think is the number one thing that makes your handcrafted jewelry quintessentially “you”?
The number one thing that makes hand-crafted jewelry “me” is the flexibility that my jewelry gives. I make transitional pieces that can work both day and night. I design jewelry that can be worn to work or to a yoga class during the day, but that can also be the perfect compliment to a cute cocktail dress or black tie event. I always try to design “no fuss” pieces so when you wear them, you feel automatically put together.