Jewelry designer Kristen Levy, now based in Echo Park in Los Angeles, began to cultivate her passion for design at the age of 10, when she learned the art of Native American beadwork. As her interest grew, she started reworking the broken jewelry of her mother and grandmother into new pieces for herself. This passion carried through into adulthood when Kristen began designing her unique jewelry out of natural and unusual materials, eventually creating her current collection, Kristen Elspeth, in 2005. Inspired by indigenous cultures and materials, especially the African and North American porcupine, Kristen uses found, natural materials to create her signature pieces. Porcupines shed their quills naturally, like hair, which are then carefully gathered and cleaned, leaving the animals completely unharmed. Along with porcupine quills, Kristen Elspeth also uses silver, gold, silk, gemstones, and natural diamonds in antique rose cuts in her designs.
Porcupines and their quills are said to be symbols of trust, innocence, invincibility, intelligence and to represent protection from dark spirits. The wearer of Kristen Elspeth’s unique quill creations is thought to take these qualities with her wherever she goes. Whether worn for protection and invincibility, or simply because of the gorgeous design, Kristen Elspeth’s jewelry will undoubtedly be in your jewelry box for years to come. Kristen’s aesthetic is simple and understated, yet timeless and modern at the same time, making it one that transitions easily from day to evening and look to look. Though some pieces, like the African Sunburst Earrings (which feature a bold burst of porcupine quills), are most adapted for bolder looks, other simple designs like the Gold Arc Necklace are easy to layer and wear on an everyday basis. Look to Kristen Elspeth’s collection for simple, minimalist designs that are informed by nature and indigenous designs from eras bygone that are an easy accent to any wardrobe.