While scanning through Instagram, I came across Cameron Archer, founder of Saint Clair Jewelry. I recognized her from Refinery 29’s “8 Inspiring D.C. Designers to Watch” and was instantly curious to learn more. While I was a little disappointed to see she was no longer in the D.C. area, her pieces are so unique that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to learn more about her inspiration and latest collection.
If you could describe your latest collection in three words, would they be?
SC: Earthy, adventurous, and ethereal (as in, airy and delicate).
What made those three words come to mind?
SC: The colors [in my pieces] are all earth-toned and can be worn with anything black or brown. I use a lot of vintage beads, in addition to the colors sage and earthy blue. I replicate my pieces from things I’ve seen in nature, and my jewelry is very light, in terms of how I make it. My collection is definitely for the dreamer, and the on-the-go gypsy child (laughs).
“Gypsy child”, I love that. Would you consider yourself to be a “gypsy child?”
SC: Oh for sure! I’m always on-the-go. I want to see the world.
Is that what inspired your move to New York?
SC: You can say that. The way I live is in moving. I love to go different places and see what they have to offer.
Do you miss DC at all?
SC: I do, but its home, so I know I will be back.
How do you produce and distribute your designs?
SC: I make everything my hand and I have a studio.
What was the inspiration behind starting your own line?
SC: I wanted my own hours, had a job that I not only hated, but wasn’t able to be creative. I had a “come to” moment when I had a house fire, and I figured now was the time to just do it.
Where did the name come from?
SC: St. Clair is originally a family name; I just decided to spell it out. It’s me and my mother’s middle name, and also my grandmother’s first name.
Do you get to spend a lot of time designing?
SC: I prefer to spend more time designing and less time producing, because I love to sit down and come up with new ideas. When you’re in the production phase, you create the same thing over and over. During the designing phase, your mind can go wild (and I love that).
Do you scope out the competition, or are you so tailored in your aesthetic that it isn’t necessary?
SC: I don’t scope at all, I’m inspired by other’s work. My “competitors” are my friends, who I sit next to, learn from, and who inspire me.
Do you pay attention trending colors?
SC: I don’t actually.
Once you have the product, how do you get the word out?
SC: MOSTLY Instagram. Also, when I have a new product(s), I let my sister stores know. I keep in touch with all the stores who carry my products.
Where do you find models for your new pieces?
SC: A lot of them are just friends.
Do you send out a look book to buyers and editors?
SC: I send look books, but all the images in my look books are also on my Instagram.
What store would you love to have your pieces in?
SC: General Store in (Venice, California) and Sunroom (in Austin, Texas). I love the brands they carry.
In the future when you’re wildly successful, whom would you love to be interviewed by, and what would they ask you?
SC: Jack Nicolson, because he’s insane and I think he has the best stories! I like how he appreciates women and honestly, I think it would be a fun time. Plus, he’s older and has tons of wisdom. I always said if I could go on a date with any celebrity, it would be him.
Who are your biggest supporters?
SC: My friends and family for sure.
And—last, but not least—If you could talk to your ten-year-old self, what would you like her to know?
SC: It’s okay to mess up because the biggest learning experiences come from that.