A B O U T
Meet Jen (left) and Lisa (right)!
Our philosophy is a blending of our unique values and experiences as women. What comes through strongly in our designs is a deep adoration of the natural world and its boundless treasures. Jen is passionate about the environment and is continually inspired by what she sees and experiences in nature. We love that the use of driftwood allows us to up-cycle what nature has essentially discarded. Lisa adores keeping a thoughtful eye on the fashion world, finding design inspiration in trending shapes and colors. Each piece is handcrafted by us, with love and a respect for the beauty that exists in nature's palette. We are inspired by the ocean, the mountains, the forest, art, fashion, and by each other. High country style meets beach in both our statement pieces and simple, delicate designs.
We source all of our materials with care. The driftwood is hand collected by us from the beaches of Northern California. Our clasps are hand hammered by a friend and metal-smith in Telluride, CO. Our raw diamonds are conflict free; the leather and cotton cord are made in the USA. All pieces are designed and created in Colorado.
In 2013 we had a unique opportunity to showcase the driftwood jewelry designs we had been developing for a number of years. After an overwhelmingly positive reception we knew we were ready to launch our business and brand. Elle Jay Natural Jewelry, LLC was founded as a vehicle to share our one-of-a-kind, artisan jewelry with the world. We continue to hone and prefect our unique craft, always fine tuning the designs we love. We take tremendous pride in our natural materials, such as driftwood, semi-precious stones and leather. We are excited to include different types of metal designs in our work as we go forward. Our tried and true designs, like our driftwood wrap bracelet, serve as our benchmark. However, we continually push the edge of design, exploring what each unique piece "wants to be", carefully and purposefully creating jewelry to fit the shape, color and character of the wood.
The wood itself has become our teacher, delivering its spiritual lessons in the most unexpected and profound ways for each of us; ultimately igniting our desire for self-expression and the passion to create art. We share that meaning with our customers, creating an even deeper connection to the pieces they purchase. Much like the journey wood takes in order to BECOME driftwood, driftwood represents the letting go of roots and being organically tumbled by life. It is the purification that comes from surrendering to our truth. The stripping away layers of self and ego to reveal our vulnerable, soft, neutral core. It is knowing our self deeply, being in our light and allowing our self to truly be seen.
You will find our work online, at fine art shows, and in boutiques and galleries from coast to coast.
About Lisa Bernal, The “Elle” or “L” in Elle Jay
I was 11 years old when I asked my mother for a pair of jeweler's pliers and I remember thinking that my world was not complete until I owned a pair. Walking the artist’s path was always in the stars for me as I was born of a painter and sculptor. Creativity was at the heart of everything I chose. At a young age I studied metal-smithing and lost wax casting. As an adult I’ve continued to refine my skills in beading, wire work, Art Clay and many other techniques along the way. It was a natural progression that my life-long passion in making and collecting jewelry led to the formation of Elle Jay Jewelry with friend and co-owner, Jennifer Buchanan. I'm always designing, creating in my mind's eye, following threads of inspiration and intuition. The quote by Elise de Wolfe sums up my heart: “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” Elle Jay Jewelry allows me to lift the vibration of our world and spread a little love and light by creating meaningful beauty. I live near Denver, Colorado with my husband and daughter.
About Jennifer Buchanan, The “Jay” or “J” in Elle Jay
My lifestyle is the embodiment of “high country style meets beach”! While I currently reside in the Colorado mountains the connection I have with the ocean runs deep in my veins. My parents were sailors long before I came along. They sold their beloved sailboat, the Ketch 22, to buy our first house when I was six months old. We chartered sailboats throughout my childhood so my parents could pass on their passion for the ocean and sailing. We continue our yearly sailing trips with my brother as the master helmsman. My sailing experiences, the countless road trips, and adventures my parents took us on have embedded in me a deep respect and love for the natural world. It comes as no surprise that I chose a degree in Environmental Science from a small college outside Asheville, NC. There, I worked for a wilderness education program specializing in Native American Studies where I studied under masters of leather making and jewelry design, namely bead work and weaving. I have continued to refine and expand on these techniques in my adult life. The evolution of my artistic eye, which began as a child with photography and painting and continued into jewelry design, is always present in the choices I make when creating jewelry for Elle Jay. I live near Breckenridge, Colorado with my boyfriend and spunky black lab, Kai. The name Kai is Hawaiian for “ocean”.