When the rain is pouring down, it’s hard to imagine the flowers that will bloom after the skies clear. If Erica Sara hadn’t endured her own storm years ago, she may not have found her place as a jewelry designer whose necklaces, bracelets and charms inspire runners and preserve memories.
Looking back, it makes sense that Erica found her way to jewelry design. As a girl growing up in New York, she’d pick up scraps from her father’s leather manufacturing company and adorn them with rhinestones and feathers to make “ridiculous” pins and earrings for her friends.
After college, she stepped into the high-fashion world, working as a buyer at Barneys New York and then a corporate merchandiser for Coach. Yet, while she was rising in her career, Erica came to a crossroads professionally and personally. She decided to leave her marriage and the fashion industry.
“My whole life was up in chaos,” she says. “I basically started my entire life from scratch.”
Erica went back to school for nutrition and began running, as she lived near Central Park. Her city’s famous marathon offered a spark of inspiration. “I thought if I could run a marathon, I could survive all this.”
Through running, finding community with fellow runners and spending quiet time in her apartment, Erica began making jewelry again. She did it just for herself, just for fun, starting with charms representing each of her races, but others quickly took notice. First friends, then blogger Ali Feller and then Fitness and Runner’s World magazines.
“It kept going and going and going,” she says, and soon, in the fall of 2010, Erica Sara Designs was born.
In those early days, Erica did everything herself from her apartment. She learned not only jewelry-making techniques, but also CSS to build her first website and how to use her DSLR camera to take her own photography.
These days, life looks different and Erica has found her groove. She and her husband — whom she met at a race in New York — live in North Carolina with their two young kids. She now sometimes works with consultants and professional photographers, and her husband, a web developer, has helped her build an inventory system.
But her drive to create, to draw inspiration and channel it into her designs, hasn’t changed.
“I’ve always been a person that, if I see something that I want, I think I can figure out how to do it,” she says.
Erica’s engraved and cut jewelry pieces keep the needs of active women in mind. “I think, ‘What would these runners and cyclists want to wear every day?’”
Much of her work is custom and personal pieces for clients, whether a woman wanting to commemorate a race or remember a loved one, or a business she believes in — like Fellow Flowers — wanting to collaborate.
When Fellow Flowers founder Mel Charbonneau reached out to Erica, asking her to bring Brave Enough — her community’s mantra for 2020 — to life, it was an immediate yes.
“I liked the message, the empowerment and inspiration behind it, and the femininity of the design,” Erica says. “I loved the challenge of making it and I love the finished pieces.”
With this collection, as with all of her jewelry, Erica hopes that the five Brave Enough necklaces speak for themselves and make a difference to the women who will wear them.
“I was listening to a podcast the other day that said whatever your talent is, let it be to the world,” she says. “We can all do our own piece to make the world a little better.”
– Katie Vaughn
We are thrilled to have collaborated with Erica Sara on a collection of Brave Enough necklaces: a cut necklace in sterling silver, an engraved bar in sterling silver and gold fill and an engraved disc in sterling silver and gold fill. Shop the necklaces here and learn more about Erica at ericasara.com.