• Derby 2018 : A Recap

     

    The "greatest two minutes in sports" has a much longer lead-up here in Louisville, and I love kicking off Derby season with a favorite treat from a Louisville institution, Plehn's Bakery. Their famous horse cookies helped me through the long hours in the studio prepping jewelry for our many trunk shows, pop-ups, and orders for race-ready fun!

    Our Pop-Up Shops at Oxmoor Center were a ton of fun, and I loved our shop neighbor with the most fantastically floral fascinators, Tiffany of Darling Handmades. (I even ended up wearing one for a bit on Thursday of Derby week, affectionately (kinda) known as Thurby these days.) 



     

    A sweet friend surprised me and a group of girlfriends with a Derby-week visit to the Backside at Churchill Downs on a beautiful spring morning, which is a super-special opportunity to see the stables and horses and all of the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to make the races happen.  We had breakfast, sipped coffee, watched the horses have their baths, and then joined trainers, jockeys, owners, visitors, vets, and press as the Oaks and Derby horses had their early-morning workout on the track. It was truly magical, and I have a much deeper appreciation for the equestrian heritage for which the place I call home is known.




    A highlight of the jewelry fun this Derby season was having my gorgeous friend Jackie Zykan, Master Taster for Old Forester, ask me to create some designs for her Derby-week looks as she made her press and event appearances on behalf of the delicious bourbon she helps craft. 

    Each look was inspired by a specific cocktail, and the first was for Thurby, whose official cocktail would be announced this year: the Old Forester Perfect Old Fashioned.

    It was SUCH a fun project to select beads based on the cocktail's ingredients, including ice-cube-like rock crystal, honey-hued crystal and agate, along with tiger's eye that resembles the golden-amber color of bourbon, and then touches of red and orange (in African glass) for a cherry and peel. A touch of equestrian elegance in a vintage horse-head buckle finished her look, and it was so great to see how the necklace came together with her fashions by Gunnar Deatherage.


    As Jackie mixed cocktails with wonderfully-talented musician Ben Sollee and interviewed with news media, I was settling into my seat at the track. I happened to glance up at the giant screen to see how much time I had to bet on the next race, and then this happened:


    Y'all. I never really thought I'd care that much about a Jumbotron for any reason at all, but I have to say, it was kind of awesome to see Elva larger-than-life in front of thousands of people. And then I won $4 on the next race and bought myself a bottle of water. It was a big day.

    Jackie's Derby-Day look was inspired by the Derby's iconic cocktail: the Mint Julep. What a delight to let such a legacy lead the design, including leaf-like minty mountain jade, opal, mint glass, and more of that honey-hued crystal to interpret the beverage's ingredients, and we went with brass accents, as the Old Forester version this year was served in a gold julep cup.


    After my last delivery on Friday afternoon, I realized I was exhausted. The Run for the Roses gave me a run for my money, so I took myself to the spa on Derby Day and felt like a winner after an amazing saltwater float. Might just be my new race-day tradition. 'Til next year, Derby friends!

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • The Friday Five

    Five things I've seen, heard, loved, stumbled upon, or been inspired and delighted by this week on Instagram:

    1. marshmallow snowflakes / Real Simple

    2. penny loafers / Thelma

    3. pajamas / Maison du Soir

    4. magazine cover / Bon Appétit

    5. jewelry dishes / Sweet & Spark

    [all images linked to the original Instagram post where I first saw them, credited in those posts by the account owner]

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • The Friday Five

    Five things we've seen, heard, loved, stumbled upon, or been inspired and delighted by this week on Instagram:

    1. sweater / Apiece Apart

    2. roasted cauliflower / The Chalkboard Mag 

    3. enamel pins / Carolyn Suzuki

    4. handmade rosettes / Leila Sanderson

    5. stunning interior / Rita Konig

    [all images linked to the original Instagram post where I first saw them, credited in those posts by the account owner]

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • WIYJB? - FAQs



    ~ What does WIYJB? stand for?  Why I Yell Jibberish Badly? Who Is Yammering Joyfully (about) Bourbon? Where Is Your Jelly Bean? All great guesses, but it's actually Elva speak for What's In Your Jewelry Box?

    ~ Why do you want to know what's in my jewelry box? Well, we're not nosy or anything, but we're definitely curious. And so many of you have told us over the years about the beautiful jewelry you have at home: vintage heirlooms from loved ones or fun finds from the flea market that would be wonderful in a design, but have been sitting--unworn--for years. And you seemed kinda sad about it. So...we thought we'd pop the question to get the ball rolling! Let's see what's in your jewelry box and find out if we can do anything great with this "forgotten" jewelry so that you can wear and enjoy these heirlooms, rather than letting them gather dust. Besides, we like to see you smile. And smiling with jewelry is even better.

    How does it work?  We created a step-by-step visual aid (see it here!) to walk you through the process, but essentially, you'd order our WIYJB Custom Care Package, send us your jewels, and we'll create something fantastic together from them.

    ~ I'm not a designer...how would I be part of the process? The good news is, we work together, so you're not alone in the designing. AND...we're big believers in the idea that EVERYONE is creative, so we're betting you have some really great ideas that might unfold as we begin the fun of creating something beautiful from your treasures. Whether you have a look through our design archives or scroll around on Pinterest, maybe even putting together a mood board for inspiration, we welcome your contribution wholeheartedly! And if you're not that into it, we'll jump in. You can be as involved as much or as little as you'd like--after all, it's your jewelry!

    ~ What type of jewelry can I send to you?  You're talking to the team that has used salt and pepper shakers in a jewelry design, so we'd hesitate to put limitations here. However, there are a few items that seem to work best for custom designs, and we find costume jewelry is the way to go...we aren't your typical diamonds-emeralds-platinum fine jeweler. (We'll take rhinestones over rubies any day of the week!) Vintage brooches, buckles, charms, chains, beads, earrings, buttons, pendants--you name it, we can probably find a way to repurpose it in a fun and fashionable design for you to wear. And if you're not sure, we're always happy to help you decide on a jewel to send our way for the project.

    ~ How long does the process take?  Once we receive your jewelry in its care package here in the studio, a custom design takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete. If you have a specific deadline in mind, we are always glad to accommodate when and where we can--just ask!

    ~ Why is the WIYJB? Custom Care Package $100? The cost of the WIYJB? Custom Care Package essentially serves as a non-refundable deposit toward your custom design. It allows us to source materials especially for you and is credited toward the final cost of the creation. If, for some reason, you decide not to proceed with a custom order after purchasing a WIYJB? Custom Care Package, you will receive a $75 merchandise credit with us that does not expire and may be used online or at any of our seasonal trunk shows.

    ~ How much does a custom design cost?  Prices vary depending entirely upon the intricacy of the design and the materials you choose to use in the design. On average, a custom necklace design is around $350.

    ~ Can I give the WIYJB? Custom Care Package as a gift?  Of course! How thoughtful of you! We can certainly include a gift note with your purchase (there is an option to do so during the online check-out process) to let the recipient know about the gift, and we would then work with them directly once we received their jewelry.

    ~ Is my jewelry safe with you? It is. The Custom Care Package includes insurance up to $100 (if you'd like to request a larger amount, please let us know before ordering!) and your jewelry is fully insured while in the Elva Fields studio. Your finished creation will be insured for the full cost of the design upon its return to you.

    ~ If I send you multiple pieces, but we only use one in the design, will I get my unused jewelry back? You will...though we'll be sad to see your beautiful jewels go, we'll love knowing that one of them is now a wonderful, wearable design to be treasured for years to come! Who knows? You just might decide to create another design with us down the road, so maybe it won't be goodbye for long.

    ~ Whose jewelry box is featured on the blog post? So glad you asked! It was actually the inspiration for the whole WIYJB? idea several years ago, as it was my great-grandmother Elva Fields's jewelry box, handed down to me with some of her treasured heirlooms inside. 


    Don't see your question answered here? Email us...we love hearing from you!
    Posted by Emily Maynard