• Featured Brands: Seoul Little

    Made in Los Angeles by Charlotte Park, Seoul Little’s delicate jewelry line is simple enough for everyday wear, and the understated designs are perfect for layering and stacking. We visited the 28-year-old California native in her beautifully minimal studio as she worked, and found out more about what goes on behind each of her designs.
    Photos by Daria Ritch

    How did you first get started in jewelry design?
    Two years ago, I started making charm necklaces to give as gifts during the holidays. I chose jewelry because I loved that people could connect and attach great significance to it. At that time I was also looking for ways to raise funds for my husband and I to adopt from Seoul, South Korea. So I started a side project selling jewelry, and called it Seoul Little. That’s the story behind the name! The goal of this small venture that started out on my dining table was to raise enough for our adoption. I never would have imagined it becoming my full-time dream job. It still blows my mind. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given a career that I love so much.

    What's your design process like?
    I first like to brainstorm, gather inspiration, and then sketch out ideas on paper. A lot of my designs are rooted in nostalgia. For my newest collection I looked back to the summers of my youth which [had] a lot of hanging out with my best friend, driving down PCH, sunbathing at Zuma beach, and just being a girl. I was inspired by the effortlessly cool west coast vibe and designed pieces like the tiny Palm Tree Studs and Sun Kissed Necklace. My favorite is the Partners In Crime friendship necklace set because it brings back so many memories! I love that it’s an adult version of an old school favorite, perfectly nostalgic but a little grown up since it’s made with really nice 24k gold plate.

    If you weren’t working in jewelry design, what do you think you’d be doing?
    I was working in advertising while starting Seoul Little, so I’d probably still be in the same industry because I liked my job a lot. But knowing myself I’d be starting up a small business on the side; I think it’s the entrepreneur inside me and the fact that I was always looking for a creative outlet.

    Were there any jewelry pieces you had growing up that meant a lot to you? If so, what were they?
    My mom gave me a small silver heart necklace growing up. She was and still is the best gift giver! The necklace means so much to me because it represents our relationship. Mother/daughter bonds are so special.

    What’s a typical day in the life like for you?
    I work from home and it’s just me so that means working overtime, all the time. In the mornings I first take care of my duties as mom to my dog. Then I get straight to work, checking emails, calculating numbers, booking flights and hotels, working on orders, making and packaging jewelry, going to the post office, re-ordering supplies, taking photos, designing collateral, updating my website, posting on Seoul Little’s Instagram, and more! My workday usually ends around 9pm and this is when I start making dinner and spending time with family. It’s pretty much nonstop all day, but I wouldn’t change anything. It’s the best feeling going to bed knowing you worked really hard and made the most out of your day.

    What’s been a challenge that you had to overcome?
    As a self-taught jewelry designer, there was a lot of trial and error when I first started Seoul Little. I didn’t know much about jewelry making or the materials I was using. But I knew that in order to make something I was extremely proud of, I needed to be hands on with every step of production from start to finish. The biggest challenge was figuring out a way to make quality jewelry without charging an arm and a leg. The jewelry also had to be tarnish resistant (because tarnish is a major bummer) and hypoallergenic because no one likes irritated ears or skin turning green. The challenge forced me to figure out and develop methods to craft keepsake pieces that can be worn daily (even in water!) and be treasured forever. It also pushed me to grow as a maker and learn my own ways of doing things even though they may be unconventional.

    How would you describe your personal style?
    Simple and effortless. I like things that are comfortable and functional.

    Is there one outfit right now that you find yourself wearing more than any other?
    Lately I’ve been wearing a pair of super soft gray sweat pants my best friend and I bought together with a t-shirt and denim jacket. The pants feel like clouds hugging your legs! I’m so lucky I can wear sweats to work but if I’m not in those you’ll likely catch me in a comfy dress or white t-shirt and jeans.

    What about when you’re not working – where can you be found?
    On the weekends you’ll find me having breakfast with my mom in Downtown LA or going out at night on ice cream runs with my husband. You’ll also find me on the road with my dog, Benny, driving to my sister-in-law’s family’s farm. Benny and I like taking mini road trips together to go visit his poodle girlfriend and see my SIL and older brother of course!

    There’s a lot of California love in your pieces. What’s your favorite part about living in LA?
    I love the overall vibe. There’s a lot happening in LA and I’ve met so many people that have moved here to start building their dreams and growing their small businesses. There are a ton of opportunities and resources here.

    One thing you’d like people to take away about the brand that they might not realize?
    It’s just me! I design and make each piece of jewelry for my customers. I think sometimes people might not realize the handmade nature of the jewelry, but nothing is mass-produced here. The process of making is something that is really important to me. It allows me to check on quality and because time and care is put into making each piece I can think about my customers and imagine how they’ll be wearing their jewelry.

    I also think back to my first ever sale because it reminds me of how lucky I am. It was from someone I didn’t personally know, a woman living in Canada, and I was so grateful that she put trust in Seoul Little and chose it out of the thousands of other brands out there. I feel the same way when I’m making jewelry for all my customers, now in over 40 countries! It makes me happy knowing that Seoul Little has the support and trust of such amazing people and it makes me want to work that much harder for them.

    To see more from Charlotte, follow her on Instagram
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