Design Thinking: Elisa Solomon


(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)


In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Elisa Solomon of Elisa Solomon to learn more about the mission and vision of her company.



(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)


1. What makes Elisa Solomon different from other jewellery brands?

From the beginning, I would say the difference is my hands on approach to creating the jewelry. There are many jewelry brands in the "personal" space that have a very machine made look. All of my pieces are carved by me by hand. Circles, letters, flowers, hearts, butterflies, guitars...I carve all the shapes (including the frequent special request). I have had a passion for art since I was a little girl, earned a BA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of Michigan, and taught myself how to work with wax. My background as an artist imbues something special into the pieces. I also believe my passion for the Sixties decade sets my brand apart. I've always been consistent with my messaging. The belief in peace, love, and happiness radiates in my jewelry.



(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)


2. How does Elisa Solomon incorporate her vision into the collections?

I am often inspired by a song (I love the Beatles), a movie (my bestselling moons were actually inspired by Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland), or my children. I always think of something cool that I'd want to wear and then I begin carving. My pieces are filled with diamonds and gems, so as I carve, I select my gem palette!




(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)



3. What are the quintessential Elisa Solomon products customers should buy?

My best seller for a while was the gold tie dye band. In 2008, I made a rainbow band with gems including garnet, citrine, yellow sapphire, peridot, tsavorite, blue sapphire, iolite, amethyst, rhodolite, and pink sapphire. In time, the rainbow jewelry market became a bit saturated. I moved toward customizable pieces, where the client can select a fun mix of gems. My best seller is now the custom mini moon necklace. The client selects the diamonds, birthstones, or precious gems for their necklace, filling it with meaning.



(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)


4. What is the future of the company?

I'd honestly be very happy if the future is just like the present! Despite our changing, sometimes

challenging world, my business has had a phenomenal year. I am partnering with brands/wholesalers I admire, churning out new pieces as I feel inspired, and working for a loyal customer following.



(Image courtesy of Elisa Solomon Jewelry)

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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