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Let Your Jewelry Come to Life…


Talking about my Holiday collection with my friends and family this year has been so exciting, I am excited to share it with all of you. The last collection of each year is always fun and over the top, what better time to create big and sparkly showpieces than Holiday? This year is no exception. But, instead of introducing you to the line through photos of the jewelry (which are coming, don’t worry, Jamie Y Photography did an amazing job on Sunday’s shoot), I wanted to share the story of how inspiration hit while I was on vacation this summer and a little bit of how my design process works.  If you are more interested in just checking out the gems, please follow along on Instagram as the collection will be unveiled there, and watch out for the Nov 9th launch party in Las Vegas, and Nov 10th website update. For everyone else… read on!

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This summer, Dave and I went to England and Scotland on a 2-week vacation. I was so ready to get away from the hot Vegas summers and clear my head from all the work stress that comes from owning your own business.

On the second day in England, I had an aha moment that shifted much of the trip into a work trip, thankfully my husband is a go with the flow kind of guy and was happy to play along. This portrait here started the inspiration rolling.

We were leaving Manchester and starting our drive down to the Oxfordshire countryside for a few days. On the way out of the city, we decided to stop at Lyme Park, or the home of Mr. Darcy in the 1996 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (called Pemberley in the miniseries). Walking through this huge estate, lined with Elizabethan and Victorian age formal portraits, we came upon the dining room set for a party… with no one there (see the picture below). Somehow, instead of honing in on the beautiful gilt details or the laboriously carved wood walls, I saw my Holiday collection come to life. 


Imagine, nighttime in this room, a table set for a modern party. The women in the portraits have watched a thousand dinner parties happen, and decide it is time to crawl from the frame and join in. Entering the room, they realize how outdated their fashion is, the standards of female costumes having changed so much over the years. Instead of feeling self conscious and heading back to the relative obscurity of their frames, they decide to strip themselves of the layers of their wardrobe and unbind their tightly coiled hair. Wearing just their slip dresses, hair wild and free after being plaited so tightly, and leaving on their layers of extravagant jewelry, they are free to be themselves in a room of strangers. With that image in my head, I began to see inspiration everywhere. In this collection, you will see shapes and textures inspired by the landscape, architecture and fashion of Tudor England. There are nods to Canterbury Cathedral, Tudor homes like the below Little Moreton Hall, and plenty of lace and pearls, but all reimagined in the Desert Daisy way. 

In addition to the planned castle outings and standing circle pilgrimages, we now added some sourcing days into the trip. I fell in love with this little haberdashery in Hastings (called Wayward if you are ever in that neck of the woods), and located beautiful vintage hand knotted lace for patterns, and velvet and satin ribbons to use for some of the necklaces. We also made a day trip to see a gem dealer in Portobello Market, where I found the most beautiful baroque pearls.

In addition to all the sourcing in England, I also reached out to some amazing and talented friends back home about putting together the photoshoot. I knew immediately I wanted to work with Jamie on this project, her photography has a moody quality that just fits so perfectly with this concept. Luckily for me, she was up for a fun artsy challenge and came on board right away. We also added in Heather of Taylor Made Photography as a second shooter, I have done some fabulous impromptu shoots with her over the course of the year and knew she would be up for an adventure. Hair and makeup was a no brainer, the work you see here is from the dream team of Kate Eissinger and Tanya Evans. I also pulled Shayanne of Bleumoon Bakery in, wanting a very dreamy cupcake feel to the tablescape. Her crystal inspired touches on vegan cakes were just the thing. Speaking of tablescapes, Veronica of Nostalgia Resources supplied our vintage candlesticks and vases. When it came time for models, I knew this one would be a greatest hits gathering of some of my favorites from previous shoots. Jenni Anderson has been in every holiday shoot from the beginning, Makenna Gott has been a joy to collab with all year long, and Janelle Johngrass is a red headed spitfire who I have been waiting to work with again. Lastly we have my little sister, Lindsey Roberts, who flew out from Connecticut for the weekend and is the glamazon you see in the top picture.

The final piece of the puzzle was where to film this shoot. There are so many venues in Vegas, but none of them seemed right. Enter Corduroy, a new bar that opened up on Fremont street this fall. Famous for their draft ginger beer moscow mules, we chanced upon this location a month ago. Tucked away in this 80’s vibe place is a conversation pit complete with Red orange couches, brass tables and a mercury glass mirrored wall. With curtains to be pulled for privacy, this little room was everything I had imagined for this shoot. A quick conversation with Chris, the manager, got the ball rolling and we were all set. If you haven’t checked out this bar yet and are local to Las Vegas, you should put it on your list. You won’t be disappointed.

For a video of our behind the scenes, check out Makenna Gott’s youtube channel here.
Below are a few sneak peeks of the photos and the collection. I’m curious, what do you think? 

Meet Emma

Emma Kelly Desert Daisy Jewelry

Owner and Designer of Desert Daisy Jewelry. Crystal enthusiast. Wanderer. Gypsy soul.

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