Maker Spotlight: NEAL Jewelry
all photos via NEAL Jewelry and feature pieces from the Dale collection
I know I've said this before: my absolute favorite part of owning this business is meeting and connecting with new people. Minneapolis is full of incredibly creative and talented individuals, and nothing makes me happier than connecting with someone and the work that they create.
Lauren Neal is one of those incredibly talented people. I've enjoyed getting to know her and am thrilled to host her jewelry collection, NEAL Jewelry, for a two day pop-up shop this weekend, just in time for holiday gift giving.
Lauren has a knack for creating pieces that are somehow both bold and subtle. She brings shapes to jewelry that I haven't seen before, resulting in unique objects made for unique individuals. And she does it here in Minneapolis, hand carving the casts and using local recycled gold, silver, and brass.
NEAL Jewelry releases a new collection every season with a new point of view. I asked Lauren where she finds inspiration for each collection.
"Some collections are directly inspired by a particular thing, be it art, a book, a city, a place in nature; and others are simply born from practice and process."
Something I appreciate most about NEAL is the intent behind the brand. Lauren hopes that women buying NEAL jewelry have style without concern for trends and are "thoughtful about purchases ... strong, smart, and creative." Shopping thoughtfully is also the mantra behind Hazel & Rose, and I love working with designers who share that sentiment.
Lauren also values sustainability, not just in her work, but in her life.
"Sustainability is a way of life for me. I do all that I can to reduce my carbon footprint; recycle, compost, reuse, donate ... As far as purchases, I try and buy vintage and used, and if I'm buying new, I try and buy locally made, USA made, quality products that last for years to come. Reducing waste is huge for me."
It can be easy to get caught up when creating something, and I loved hearing how Lauren manages that while she builds new pieces.
"The carving of the wax [for the casting] is by far my favorite part. When I'm fully immersed in the process and the design is not yet complete, it feels the best. No attachment, no expectations, no names, no price and no end goal. Because of the medium, I can mess up, make mistakes, fix them, start over, and I love that."
You'll be able to see pieces from various NEAL collections December 3-4 in the store. Meet Lauren and enjoy some festive treats while you shop handmade jewelry and ethical fashion.