Let us start by saying, we are not writers by nature, although we do have plenty to say and hopefully, you’ll want to keep reading! When we meet clients, the first question that comes up is, who are you? In short, we’re just two moms trying to make a living doing what we love for whom we love. It’s everyone's dream, right? The question is who we are as designers, a brand, and people.
To offer a little background. We (Jessica & Jennifer) met in the early 2000s at a jewelry industry trade show in NY. If you don’t know, the trade shows back then were the place to go to find new, up-and-coming designers. It was BEFORE social media…no Instagram, TikTok, or FB to show us who is wearing what, or new emerging brands or retailers to seek out. We relied on trends we saw, street style, and magazines, cutting out “tear sheets” for inspiration. Then, we would hit the pavement to go create it, or find it! Jess was a jewelry designer, and Jen was a Jewelry Buyer for Nordstrom. We instantly fell in love with each other’s personality, creativity, and work ethic. We became colleagues and fast friends. Fast forward over a decade, and here we are together creating something special!
ELLIOT YOUNG (Jess’ last name + Jen’s last name) was built on our passion for jewelry, the love of what we do, and our children. Both of us are moms with children roughly the same age. We’ve hit teenage, and high school years now, which could be a future blog in itself! Buckle up!
2018 brought some big changes for both of us. Jess’s dad passed away, and Jen’s sister passed away, both too early. We hit a new phase in life – “The Sandwich Generation”. Yep, it’s a thing. Middle age, caring for kids and parents while not losing yourself in the process. It’s a bit of a wild ride, to be honest. One could call it mid-life crises, or to Jen’s sister Kelly’s credit, she named it mid-life growth, which is a much better descriptor. Because let's face it, without pain, there would be no joy! As we navigated this new journey, we found each other again, going through major life changes. We knew we wanted to create something together that would fuel our personal and professional passion. So, in 2019, Elliot Young was born!
Now, you can imagine the excitement of creating something from the ground up with one of your besties. It was a dream! We both knew we wanted our brand to mean something other than just pretty, shiny things! We wanted it to make a difference. We wanted to have a point of difference. Our community and children fueled us. We first took our little brand out to the community and not to the people we knew in the industry. Not to the major retailers, but to the community supporting children and youth crises. Why? Both of us had our own personal journey with our kids to give them the extra support they needed, and while doing so, we realized that not everyone has the same tools, resources, community, or family to help get these kiddos the support they need. Children are our future, and with everything going on in the world, we need to support them more than ever now.
From there, we put focus on social impact and sustainability as our mission for Elliot Young. We created our IMPACT PROGRAM supporting nonprofits and organizations that support youth crises. We met with the organizations in their offices to see them in action. We set up the program with customized jewelry pieces, impact codes, gala, and pop-up events. We were ready to go! Then, the pandemic hit…
Can you imagine starting a business just before the pandemic? Everything shuts down. No in-person events. 2020 was sure to bring uncertainty, but we persevered. Luckily, with the help of the Accessories Council, they guided us to apply for a Designer Spotlight Contest with major jewelry retailer, Zales which was opening its platform to provide support to emerging brands. To our surprise, we were one of three designers chosen out of over 70 applicants! It wasn’t our initial plan, but from there, we were able to push through the pandemic, and continue to pivot, while maintaining our mission of supporting youth crises.
Today, with our impact partners, and our clients, we have been able to donate more and more year over with 200% more in 2023! Together, we provided over +12k meals to hungry children through NO KID HUNGRY, and our “Pineapple” necklace! Through SAVING INNOCENCE, our donations went to protecting sex trafficked youth, providing them hope and response with clothes, food, and medical exams. You helped provide neurodiverse children with programs such as social skills groups, summer camps, and coaching through Ryther’s Aspiring Youth Program. Together, we are making a difference in our local communities, and can’t be more thrilled to see our impact program working while creating beautiful, real jewelry you’ll want to wear time and time again!
We are 4 years in now with our 5-year anniversary coming next year! It is hard to believe, but we are still here, and we are ready to crush it again and make an IMPACT with you! Thank you to all our impact partners and our clients for believing in us and supporting our mission!