For this young Vancouver designer, opposing energies create unexpected harmony in her jewelry. Erin Johnson has lived in Canada’s west coast metropolis for several years now. Originally, she moved to attend the University of British Columbia, but the city’s many attractions keep her close.
Erin founded her company Erinlaura Jewelry three years ago, the brand is a combination of two names – her grandmother’s and her own. Erin describes her grandmother, Laura, as an influential force in her life and one who continues to provide guidance. As a young woman, Laura emigrated to Langley, British Columbia from Vieste, Italy, with her spouse and they started a family. Young and resourceful Laura made everything from scratch from pasta to blankets, from bread to clothing. Erin credits her grandmother with teaching her how to work with her hands.
“She has always taught me to be strong and never give up. She has also taught me that it is ok to fail, which is an important thing for anyone starting their own company.”
Experimenting with materials Erin designed a delicate ring for herself using rose quartz and unwittingly launched her company. She wore the ring to work (at fashion retailer Aritzia) and before she had finished her shift co-workers were placing orders for similar models.
Each Erinlaura Jewelry piece is named after one Erin’s best friends (clearly, she has a few). Combining rough cut stones with delicate chains is the yin-yang of Erin’s work. She tells us that she is attracted to the flaws in gemstones and it is in those blemishes that she sees the beauty and the possibilities. Her base materials come from stores in Vancouver and Arizona, and her inspiration from her surroundings.
Before we let Erin get back to her studio, we asked her to share her favourite Vancouver haunts, and where she hopes to see someone wearing her jewelry.
Coffee: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters – Start the day with the perfect raw almond milk latte.
Breakfast: Café Medina for the best brunch in town.
Lunch: Lift for an excellent view of the water and fresh oysters too.
Dinner: AnnaLena Restaurant for tasty share plates and even better cocktails.
Stay: Rosewood Hotel Georgia with its unbeatable central downtown location.
Classic Vancouver?: Take a walk on the Seawall.