We’ve been eyeing Brinker & Eliza for a while now and we are so excited to launch the brand in our store! The mother-daughter duo makes chunky and fun costume jewelry that can be worn everyday and layers beautifully with fine jewelry. All the jewelry is handmade in Connecticut, inspired by vintage pieces and the ocean. Here, at M. Flynn, we always encourage people to mix high and low, costume and fine, and can’t wait to start mixing in some Brinker & Eliza. Take a look below for a Q&A by the designers!
What inspired you to launch your label?
Eliza: My mom and I have been making things together my whole life. She’s insanely creative, and I’ve always had a more-is-more kind of style. She would help me personalize and up the volume on things I already owned (…basically anything with a surface) by adding beads, gems, pom poms, patches — you get the picture. She also had her own jewelry line, so we’d design jewelry together on the side.
Any time I wore her jewelry, strangers would come up to me to ask where they could buy it. I think people were responding to the one-of-a-kind-looking, maximalist nature of the pieces, and it made me start to think about all those people out there who, like me, enjoy “playing dress-up” for no reason at all. After responding “My mom made it” for the millionth time, I asked my mom what she thought about setting up a small shop online. We moved forward with the idea in 2017.
Brinker: Between my jewelry design experience and Eliza’s background in fashion merchandising, the process felt really natural. Instagram moved things along, too, which makes sense, given that it’s just one more way to ask someone where they bought their earrings. Only this time, we had a far more helpful answer. It wasn’t long before we realized that this could actually be something. By 2018, we’d both left our respective full-time commitments to focus all our energy on Brinker & Eliza, and here we are today.
What is your brand ethos?
Eliza: Play dress up for every reason and no reason.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
Brinker: We live near the beach, so Brinker & Eliza will likely always have elements that tie back to the water or the sand or ocean life in some way. I love anything with an antique feel, like vintage hardware and millinery supplies, Eliza loves color, and we both have a “more is more” attitude when it comes to accessories–so those things will likely always find their way into our collections.
What was your inspiration this season?
Eliza: Being based out of a small beach town in Connecticut means we’re endlessly inspired by the natural colors and shapes of all that you might find while walking along the shoreline to hunt for sea glass and shells. But — and this isn’t exactly a groundbreaking idea here — we also take inspiration from things we come across in our daily lives: flea markets, dinner parties, the music that’s constantly flooding our house. Though it’s not always so literal, it all seems to make its way into the creative process.
For this collection we played around with Mother of Pearl carved shells and flowers and vintage crystals. We love to incorporate vintage and “found” elements into our lines, like 1940s zodiac pendants and other various charms that my mom has collected over the years… we also thought a lot about candy stores and overgrown gardens.
Who is your customer?
Eliza: We design for people who love to play dress-up, who ignore the “take one thing off before you leave the house rule.” If you’re someone who puts jewelry on to run errands “because why not,” we’re right there with you.
What are your plans for the label?
Brinker: We hope to keep making things that make people smile, we hope to keep meeting incredible women throughout the process, and we hope to grow in a way that allows us to try new things and take some risks.