A spectacular structure of granite and red sandstone, the Old Red Courthouse's 19th century architecture stands out amidst the modern buildings of downtown Dallas, Texas. Texas is also the home of featured jewelry designer Elizabeth Carlock.
With so much focus on teenage violence and apathy, it is always inspiring to learn about young people who are concerned about the well-being of others. Carlock's altruistic endeavors began while still in middle and high school.
Utilizing her love for jewelry and fashion, as a teen at Highland Park High School, she collaborated with a friend co-founding a small jewelry company. The proceeds garnered from the pieces they made were given to a charity.
Using this success as a foundation, Carlock continued to learn more about business, and the fashion industry. She earned a degree in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs from Southern Methodist University, and participated in Dallas Market Center's internships where she met mentor, and fellow designer Elizabeth Showers.
"I was very inspired by Elizabeth, and I learned a lot about the logistics of running a jewelry company," she says. "There is a great tendency for superficiality in the fashion industry, and I wanted to go into that world doing something positive."
At age 21, in the summer of 2009, she established Elizabeth Carlock Designs selling her wares through the company's website. The focal aesthetic are beautiful semi-precious gemstones offset by designs of filigree gold vermeil.
Her range of jewelry includes chandelier earrings that suspend, such stones as cherry quartz, orange calcite, citrine briolette, and tiger's eye; alternate streamlined bead necklaces and necklaces featuring chunky stones; and clean, boldly structured cuffs of gold vermeil, sterling silver, and cattle horn.
"When I design I keep in mind what the everyday woman wants from her jewelry, and what she wears. My pieces blend well with formal, black-tie ensembles or with jeans and a t-shirt."
Beginning this month, Carlock will travel to Uganda to participate in the Akola Project, a community development program providing Ugandan widows and their families with self-sustaining skills.
"I am going to teach the women how to make more couture-looking pieces with the paper beads they make as well as other materials they use," she explains.
"The objective is to help them create products that will sell for more money in the United States and elsewhere."
In the future, Carlock plans to expand selling her jewelry through wholesalers, and retailers as well as expand her line of products to include headbands, shoes, and handbags.
Photo 1 (top right): Gold Vermeil Chandelier Earrings
Photo 2 (bottom left): Pink Turquoise Drop Necklace