ELIZABETH SHOWERS SHOWS HER PASSION THROUGH ALLURING COLOR COMBINATIONS.
Byline: Holly Haber
DALLAS — Elizabeth Showers found the inspiration to start her jewelry business while lying on the beach in the Bahamas.
“I read ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back,’ and it was about a woman who lost her job and decided to do her passion,” Showers recalled. “So I came back and turned in my notice at my job, and started waiting tables so I could take jewelry classes.”
It was a fortuitous move. Showers’ business is less than three years old, but will do more than $1 million in sales this year, which is 10 times her first year’s revenue. Her biggest customer is Neiman Marcus, which has her line in 25 of its 31 stores this fall.
Showers has captivated buyers’ attentions with her alluring color combinations of semiprecious stones, pearls and Venetian glass, in single- and multistrand necklaces, bracelets and drop earrings.
“When I make something and put it on,” Showers explained, “I ask myself, ‘Do I feel good wearing this?’ And if I do, then I put it in the line.”
Frosted and colored Venetian glass beads with gold foil interiors were the first elements that caught her eye, and they continue to make up some of her best-selling necklaces, spaced on silk cord in gold, aubergine and periwinkle.
For spring, Showers is working primarily with aquamarine, tanzanite, champagne freshwater pearls and two pale green stones — Peruvian opal and pheranite. The holiday collection offers striking mixes of red and deep-orange hessonite garnet and gray pearls combined with red garnets. A group intended for brides features combinations of white pearls and white moonstones.
“She’s really evolved into her own look, and a lot of her success is a combination of her enthusiasm and drive,” commented Tom Lindsay, jewelry buyer for Neiman’s. “She puts a lot of herself into her jewelry, and she’s really on top of trends, so her line reflects what’s happening in ready-to-wear as well as other categories in accessories. Within the last year, it has really taken off.”
Showers’ newest styles thread 14-karat gold-filled wire through the stones or pearls to create jeweled links that form a chain. Jeweled tassels, sterling and gold-filled charms add whimsy to the necklaces.
“I’m going to expand on the jeweled links,” she noted. “I believe we’re all interconnected, and the links represent connectivity between people.”
Bestsellers are lariats; long, linear earrings; multistrand bracelets, and tassel earrings. One double-strand necklace of white pearls, cabochon citrines and matte Venetian glass beads with gold interiors has been in the line for almost two years and remains a top seller.
Now, Showers is planning to move into higher-end metals and stones.
“I’m going to do a few 18-karat-gold castings for fall trunk shows and possibly present some at a trade show early next year,” she said. “I want to have a high-end 18-karat gold line with precious stones and precious metals and be selectively distributed nationally and internationally.”
Wholesale prices currently span from $25 to $128 for earrings and $74 to $300 for necklaces.
Business is growing so fast that Showers is looking for a new space, so her 11 employees will have a bit more room. She has currently got her studio and production crammed into less than 1,000 square feet in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in south Dallas.
Showers exhibits at ENK Accessorie Circuit in New York and at Gavin showroom at the International Apparel Mart here. Besides Neiman’s, some of her key accounts are Ylang Ylang in Dallas; Barbara Jean in Little Rock, Ark., and Halls in Kansas City, Mo.
Showers gets some of her sense of style from her mother, a chic interior designer whose clients include Pamela Dennis. Both mother and daughter are well known on the Dallas social scene and frequently photographed at charity benefits.
Showers favors wearing styles by Donna Karan, Prada and Michael Kors.
And where does she do her shopping? “I raid my Mom’s closet.”