Tuesday, December 20, 2011

my east coast self

Windswept, historical, timeless, classic, red lips, sink ships, stripes and plaids, cable knits, afternoon light, fall colors, summer colors, summer skin, sand in toes, seasons, 'nor easter, hurricane, snowstorm, cold noses, long winters, long hair, seashells, buttoned up, all in a row, oysters and lobster and mussels and clams, work hard, work long, values, tradition.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

for the love of OAK...

Crown Nine, the shop I've been helping to launch with two other jewelers, is part of the PopUpHood project. The video below explains it all and is completely entertaining. I have a little cameo too! Please watch, share and discuss as we're trying to gain as much momentum as possible. Thanks all!

POPUPHOOD from Eva Kolenko on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

my west coast self

Having grown up and lived my very young adult life in New England, the east coast forever has a hold on me. I have been living in Northern California for more than six years now and I have noticed my design sense changing and evolving because of it. I feel like I have dueling selves sometimes when it comes to how I design and what I'm drawn to. The good news is that style is a mash up of your personal inspiration (in my opinion) so I don't have to choose. However, I definitely have what I call "my west coast self" and "my east coast self," both of whom I will introduce you to. Today, meet west coast Sarah.

Bohemian, free, movement, temperate, tats, bikes, tacos, pho, kimchee, coffee, melting pot, mid-century, modern, cool, relaxed, slouchy, grunge, sunshine, breezy, braids, color, pattern, textile, flowing, lofty, grit, bright, casual, worn, leather, fringe, palm trees, tall trees, succulents, bungalow, anything goes, arts, crafts, designers, makers, innovators, do-ers, seekers...all together now. Love.

Friday, November 25, 2011


The amazing couple for whom I made these wedding bands got married on 11/11/11. Best wedding day ever, I'm a tad jealous.

Hers is a simple yellow gold band with diamonds that descend and radiate out from the center stone on her engagement ring when placed on top.

His is my shipwreck wood texture band in a masculine weight with a slight wave.

I love how they weren't concerned about matching, but rather getting a ring that fit their individual personality.

I'm a big believer in choosing a ring that YOU love. After all, you're the one that is going to wear it always and forever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Crown Nine!

I'm so excited to announce that I am partnering with two other amazingly talented jewelers to open a retail boutique called Crown Nine: Jewelers and Makers.

If you know me personally, you know that I've always dreamed of opening my own store and that I have an undying love for the city of Oakland.

Being part of opening Crown Nine is really the perfect pairing of these two things. The store is part of the popuphood project, which is essentially a genius way of revitalizing the city block by block.

Crown Nine will feature local quality crafted goods in addition to the work of the three house jewelers including yours truly, Kate Ellen Metals, and Aiko Designs.

The space is truly magnificent, filled with streaming light and industrial details. The "heart" of the store will be a sturdy table made form reclaimed wood that will play host to a series of classes, work shops and trunk shows with the goal of involving and giving back to the community.

I'll of course be sharing more, but in the meantime I'm happy to introduce you to my lovely and insanely talented partners in the project: Kate Ellen Metals & Aiko Designs.

We would greatly appreciate your love and support! Crown Nine is slated to have a soft opening on December 2nd. Please follow us on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have a confession. I don't wear jewelry everyday. Most days I'm dirty and covered in metal dust or polishing compound and wearing jewelry just doesn't make sense. There have been countless times when, running frantically from the studio to complete an errand in record time, I have been caught. A jewelry designer not wearing jewelry. Busted.

But these? I would wear these daily, or more like never part from them.

That was the general idea behind this recent custom project. A pair so lovely and sparkly that you can't help but want them on your ears at all times. Also, a pair so petite and lightweight that they will be enjoyed instead of nestled snugly in a jewelry box.

These scattered diamond hoops turned out just as I had hoped and may even make an appearance in my permanent collection.

Friday, November 4, 2011

...just in case

you missed my Refinery29 feature in one of the many other places I shared it....here it is!

Click here to be surrounded by Sarah Swell-ness!

Lovely photos by Molly DeCoudreaux

Friday, October 28, 2011

Designers By The Bay

I belong to the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) and they recently put on their yearly event, Designers By The Bay. It is basically a showcase of all women Northern California designers open to the trade only. It was great to see old friends and meet new designers that I have long admired. Shreve & Co. hosted the event that was full of schmoozing, industry insiders, champagne and delicious treats.

On a serious note, I really began thinking about how far women have come in the jewelry industry. Really, 20-30 years ago women jewelers were virtually non-existent. It was a trade for the boys club. And, certainly no women owned and operated their own jewelry design businesses. It feels rewarding to be part of a changing industry and proud to know so many women designers that, like myself, struggle to succeed in an over saturated and predominately mass produced market. That night I felt proud for each and every one of us and realized the importance of what I'm doing. It's just jewelry, and it's not just jewelry all at the same time.

my talented neighbor, jeweler Alice Roche

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Running a business is fun, but also really really stressful. Last week my hubby and I took an impromptu road trip to unwind. We headed due east to the wilds of California gold country. It was here, in 1848, that gold was first discovered. We spent two days meandering old mining and ghost towns without a care in the world. It was magic.

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