Erica taught herself to make jewelry in the mid-2000s, while bouncing between jobs in the arts, fashion, and theatrical costuming. Combining tiny collected objects with vintage charms and chain, she quickly developed a fan following and hired her friend, Lindsay, to help keep up with growing orders. The pair soon decided to open a retail shop in downtown Manhattan, where they incorporated a small collection of inexpensive antique jewelry, too. A second shop in Brooklyn opened a few years later.
After five years of designing their own jewelry, the antiques bug bit them. Hard. They put their Art History and Anthropology degrees to use, researching the human history behind each piece. With an insatiable curiosity they began travelling the world to acquire antique jewels. Their identification skills rapidly expanded, helped along by experienced mentors, traditional research, and through formal gemology studies. Telling each rare jewel's story is their obsession; the thrill of discovery drives their collection forward.
They soon developed a line of made-in-NYC fine jewelry that combines elements of their favorite antique pieces. Making use of recycled gems, they reference shapes, themes, and motifs from history. The line, 1909, is named for the year Erica's paternal grandmother was born in downtown Manhattan.
Lindsay and Erica collect antiques with an eye towards the weird, esoteric, and rare, seeking out jewels that have a quirky origin. Well-crafted vintage wedding and engagement pieces are a special treat to work with - Erica and Lindsay will show you why each one is unique. Their two NYC stores are always full of newly acquired antique pieces, alongside their original (and still cult-favorited) handmade jewelry.