Today we are getting to know Elisha of Spoken Stone, a collector since her teenage years who was on a path to being a molecular biologist and traded it in to work with jewelry. Most recently, she opened a treasure-filled shop in Nolita. Chasing her jewelry dreams meant moving to NYC and she has been selling her wares for a few years now to an eclectic group of collectors that trust her style, taste and knowledge. Let’s get to know her better:
When I was 15 I moved to my grandmother’s house where I began to work at a local printing factory in the area. With the extra money I made at the factory I would shop garage sales. One day while perusing a local sale I found a crystal brooch, I became enchanted by the way it glistened like a rainbow in the sunlight. I had little exposure to jewelry at that time, and I fell in love with this shiny, little object, despite not knowing much about it. I brought the brooch and a few other pieces home. Later, I researched the pieces and realized there were lots of people out there, like me, who were falling in love with vintage jewelry and collecting it. In the end, I kept the crystal brooch and sold the rest, and that’s how it all began.
I started selling on eBay as a teenager, but took a break for four years while in undergrad. After graduating I contemplated a career in molecular biology, but the idea of running to the lab at 3am to keep my amoebas alive and throwing gloved dry ice at lab colleagues forever didn’t feel right for me. So I moved to NYC, the city of dreams, and started to sell jewelry at Artists and Fleas. After a couple years I moved into a private showroom in SoHo and then this December I finally opened my first store front in NOLITA. It’s been a long journey with plenty of ups and downs but am so grateful for all the retail clients, costume designers, fashion designers, and jewelry designers that have trusted and believed in me to help source the best jewelry for their collections. It’s a thrill beyond belief to send a client home with the perfect piece of jewelry you picked out just for them.
I’ve always seen my jewelry collection as art, from plastic to platinum, I’ve never discriminated as long as the piece was well made and the design was thought out. I currently have about 10,000 pieces in my collection. I have tried to decide on a favorite but I really can’t! It’s like deciding which child is your favorite, perhaps you have one, but should you ever reveal that? I am however, excited to be sharing my entire collection in an online jewelry museum I am collaborating with a couple friends on. Our goal is for everyone to upload their own collections and create a large database of jewelry so everyone can learn about the history of the vintage pieces they own or hope to own. I believe everyone can become the historian of their own collection!
I have a funny story about an unusual jewelry object I found. One day I typed in the keyword “squirrel” on eBay (I have a thing for squirrels) and it just so happened a solid gold squirrel leash popped up. I had to buy it. Apparently, in the 18th and 19th centuries it was not uncommon to keep both deer and squirrels as pets. The most fashionable pets had custom gold collars and leashes made for them. Later, I saw a squirrel leash – almost the exact same one – in a painting from 1765! You can read the whole story on our future jewelry museum website, www.spokenstone.com
Currently we don’t have a store website that we sell from, if you are interested in buying please check out our Instagram @shopspokenstone where we regularly post new arrivals on our stories and our feed, just DM to purchase. If you are interested in working with us as a retail company, costume, jewelry or fashion designer and perhaps need a collection curated for inspiration or private clients, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on my personal Instagram @spokenstone.
You can follow Elisha here –> @SpokenStone