Sparkles & Cashmere with Loren Hope Designs

It’s been unseasonably cold outside and that’s just plain fact. Between the‘polar vortex’ and all the extra snow on the east coast, to friends from San Francisco actually reaching out to me for advice on purchasing warmer coats, it seems that no one’s been able to escape it this season.  I’ve been doing everything that I can to keep things warm and bright, despite the weather, and I do believe that I’ve discovered the perfect pairing for days like these. Sparkles and cashmere, coziness with a little bit of shine.  Specifically, I’ve been pairing my favorite classic cable knits from the Pink Pineapple Shop with the beautiful statement necklaces designed and handcrafted by Loren Hope Designs.

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As an east coast native both of these are items I’ve picked up from small shops that I’ve discovered in New England.  In fact, both are based out of classic towns in Rhode Island; Providence and Newport and both are small companies started by some successful entrepreneurial women. The sweaters are the perfect thing for everyday, from class to work, and can be layered over your favorite button down or a silk blouse, so that you’re ready for evening in no time at all.  And the hand crafted gems from Loren Hope? I’m not sure what could be better!

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Loren, who grew up playing in her grandmother’s thrift shop, fell in love with vintage jewelry.  She loved reassembling antique pieces into new works of art and was fortunate enough to turn this love into a successful business a few years ago.  Few things have changed.  Each piece is still hand assembled and many of the stones are even sourced from repurposed vintage pieces.  Between the rich colors, the bright crystals, the old feel of the polished brass, there’s something so special about each of of these designs.  If you weren’t already in love with the designs before how can you not be after hearing the back story?  I was eager to learn more about these lovely brass and crystal works of art so I was beyond excited when Loren took a quick break while shooting her upcoming Spring/Summer 2014 look book to answer a few questions on her designs for Sweet Lemon!  We think that Loren is most certainly a Lemon Lady!


Q & A With Loren Barham

At what point did you decide to start designing your own line?

What inspired the most recent collection?
Flower and leaf motifs, the modern girl, royal jewels with the end result a collection that feels fresh, girly, sophisticated and playful.

How long does it take to make your average Loren Hope statement necklace?
From start to finish it takes around 8-10 man hours and is touched by around 7 different people.

Which pieces do you see as must haves?
The Clara bracelet, Mara bracelet, Sarra cuffs and Clara minis and the Sophia studs.

Which do you wear everyday or which could you not live without?
I wear my Mara bracelet.

And what’s your favorite thing to pair them with?
I mix up my Mara bracelet with the Clara bracelet and small Sarra cuff, or I’ll pair it with the Alex cuff when I’m feeling like making more of a statement.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve ever created?
[The] Alex necklace from Fall 2012.

Why is it important to you to keep Loren Hope Designs ‘made in America’?
This is one of the most important components of LH. We are able to keep a close eye on quality and able to develop pieces in real time, as well as work with local craftsmen and small-family-run businesses here in RI.

What’s next from Loren Hope?
Making Loren Hope Designs into a lifestyle company.

Anything else you’d like to add?
“You must do what you love, even when no one else is loving it. In fact, that’s when it counts the most” – Ruben Toledo, on the subject of being an artist

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Follow Loren Hope Designs on  and for the latest, and a sneak peak at the Spring/Summer 2014 look book!

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