Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brunch with a designer: Lauren of Peerless Charm

After the holiday break, I'm back with another installment of my weekly Brunch with a blogger. Today, I'm happy to present Lauren Malmquist, the jewelry designer and blogger at Peerless Charm.

My regular readers already know Lauren, the creative mind behind Peerless Charm jewelry. I've been working with her for almost a year now, as a brand ambassador for her jewelry business. There's no need to tell that I fell in love with Lauren's pearl jewelry instantly, and it really is the perfect match for me (you can find my previous posts here and here). After all, my blog wasn't given its name randomly and pearls will always be the epitome of chic and glamour for me.

Living in Chicago, Lauren has always had an ambition to have a positive impact on the world around her. And turning her jewelry making talent into a full-fledged ethical business was definitely the right thing to do. There will never be any "Made in China" tag on her designs, as her supplies are all sourced in countries with fair labor conditions.

A jewelry that's both beautiful and socially conscious is, in my opinion, a match made in heaven!

Let's discover together all the things that are rocking Lauren's world, as well as something more about her fabulous jewelry shop:

My style icon: Serena van der Woodsen form Gossip Girl. Actually, a couple items form my early jewelry designing days were inspired by Gossip Girl.

My favorite accessories: Necklaces and scarves. You'll never find me without one or the other!

My favorite magazine: I haven't subscribed to print magazines in a couple years but when I did, W was my favorite. As for online magazines The Everygirl is my favorite.

Always in my closet: White shirts. I know, so plain, but with all the colorful jewelry I wear, sometimes a simple white shirt is all I need.

My favorite book: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

My guilty pleasure: Ice cream.

My favorite scent: Coconut anything! Even my car smells like a PiƱa Colada!

My favorite song: This changes often, but currently I've been listening to Ho Hey by the Lumineers repeatedly.

My favorite movie scene: The end dance scene of any dance movie.

My favorite blog: It's definitely, and there are a few other websites I try to read daily such as Macarons and Pearls, Jess Lively, and Cupcakes and Cashmere.

One thing I simply can't live without: This is like ten things, but it's my family and my dogs. They are always there with support, love and entertainment right when I need it. I am so thankful to have all of them!

Thing I am most proud of: Wholesaling my jewelry. When I made the goal, I worried that I would not be able to accomplish it, but now that I have done so, I have definitely taken a moment to celebrate my accomplishment.

Best blogging advice I've ever received: Interning with Jess Lively in 2012 was an amazing way to get great advice in both business and blogging. The two things that stand out to me are have something that makes you different and post consistently, whether it's daily, weekly or monthly.

My life mantra: Life is perfect. Many people argue this statement, but I use it as a reminder to be grateful for everything that I have, and it empowers me to make a change if there is something in my life that is not right.

My style in 3 words: Simple, comfortable and bold (once I add the jewelry)

On Peerless Charm:

What was the inspiration behind launching your own shop?

I've always planned on owning my own boutique, but once I started making jewelry on a more serious level, I started thinking of ways I could turn it into a business sooner rather than later. Just as I was getting frustrated with my job, my boyfriend (at the time) gave me a piece of paper with info for a website called jewelry wonder, a place to sell jewelry for free. I took that as a sign that I should open my shop NOW, and was born.

Crystal Solid Chandelier / Delightful Chandelier / Crystal Small link bracelet / Small hoop earrings / Large hoop earrings 

Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry? How long does it take to make one item?

Well inspiration comes from many different sources for me. Oftentimes, I get an idea for an outfit for myself, with a necklace that doesn't exist, so I make it (and wear it daily). Then, if I get good feedback, I design a collection around it. Honestly, the whole process from the idea to the finished product can take up to a month to come up with the design, source the supplies, and assemble the necklace. When I make a necklace for the first time, there's a lot of putting together and taking it apart to find the best way to make it match my vision.

 Do you have a designer who is your hero / icon, whose style you admire and who continues to inspire you?

Honestly, there's not really one designer in particular. While I pull inspiration from current trends, I don't often keep up with one particular designer. 

How would you describe your jewelry in 3 words?

Bold, fun and unique.

Peerless Pearls earrings / Graduated Pearl / White Pearl tiered necklace / Swarovski pearl chandelier bib / Tiered necklace / Peerless pearls bracelet

Is there a piece of your work that's particularly close to your heart? Why so?

The piece that was sentimental to me was a blue, green and yellow bracelet. I made it right after my high school graduation, and it inspired me to continue learning to make jewelry so that I could one day sell it. I used to wear it daily, until it broke (I've improved since then, of course!)

How does your blog help you with your jewelry business? 

It helps people get to know me. People still feel a little worried about purchasing things online, and since Peerless Charm is not a huge, well known brand (yet ;-), I think people may hesitate before purchasing. My blog is about my goals, so I try to be very open and honest about what is going on in my life. As a side effect of that, I hope that people can feel like they are purchasing from a friend, rather than a website.

What's next? Do you have any special plans for your shop and your blog?

I am really excited for 2013, because I am hoping for a lot of growth for both my blog and my shop. I am putting a lot of attention into wholesaling, and would like to start off by selling in four Chicago shops for the first half of the year, and expanding from there for the second half. As far as my blog, my goal is to get up to 100 new followers this year. My blog has always been about my goals, but I recently decided to divide them up by different categories of my life. I'm starting fresh by re-introducing each goal, and once I have achieved them, readers can go back through, and read step by step how I did so. I plan to update weekly about where I stand with one goal or another, and what steps I will be taking over the next month to progress further. It is my theory that if you put hard work, love, and a positive attitude into what you do, you can achieve anything you want in life. It's my goal to let others know that too, through my blog.

Thank you so much, Lauren, for these inspiring words! It was an honor to have you as my guest today!


  1. Oh wow, that jewellery is gorgeous! Wish I had that talent :)

  2. Such amazing jewellery,very talented ;) Ahh Serena-I absolutely agree :)

  3. I love pearls too! Her jewellery is so original and colourful!! <3

    I still owe you an email, I haven't forgot! ;D

    Girls that glitter love the dark

  4. Oh wow Lauren's jewellery is stunning - I especially love the gold tiered necklace!

    And I completely agree on Serena as a style icon and scarves as a fashion staple! :-)


  5. I also love The Secret! The jewellery pieces are really beautiful!


  6. I love her pearl jewelry- such classics!

  7. Thanks Ivana, and thank you everybody for the nice comments


Your lovely comments always make my day! And what´s more, your sweet comments make me discover your fabulous blogs! :)

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