Coco Chanel is widely known as one of the most influential fashion designers of all time. Coming from humble beginnings and building a brand that stands the test of time, she was known for being bold and elegant. There is no way to know how many designers she has inspired, but one for sure is Susan Shaw. Her iconic fashion house pioneered the idea that jewelry shouldn’t necessarily be meant to flaunt wealth (as it was in that time period), but instead to complement clothing. She was the first to mix fine gems with fabricated glass beads and gilt gold chains, changing the age old concept that jewelry had to be either “fine” or “costume” and creating a category all her own. Susan Shaw jewelry is in that category now, with our handcast metals, semi-precious stones, and a mix of glass and genuine freshwater pearls.
We can’t mention Chanel without talking about the Chanel suit. She took the basics of a man’s suit, the tweed fabrics and clean lines and designed something for women to wear and move about freely in. Her vision of fashion changed the fundamental way women dressed by freeing them from binding corsets and heavy layers of skirts in exchange for comfortable fabrics and simple structure. All Chanel clothing was designed to allow women to be comfortable doing their everyday activities without sacrificing an ounce of style.
When Chanel first added jewelry to her clothing line in the 1920’s, she designed colorful pieces as were popular at the time, but none more popular than the maltese cross cuffs in the photo below. Coco Chanel would wear one on each wrist in symmetry. These cuffs would come to be the most iconic piece of jewelry she would make and inspire the maltese cross to grow in popularity.
Below you can see our Susan Shaw maltese cross designs inspired by the classic Chanel look.
Chanel wore her jewelry extravagantly, with many chains and strands of pearls. She would be very familiar with the style of an elegant woman today.
While Coco Chanel definitely had a signature look, her legacy encourages women to embrace their own style. An ideal that is shared by Susan Shaw Jewelry. We delight in contributing to a customer’s individual style. After all, “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” -Coco Chanel
The Elephant is a majestic creature. As the largest mammal on land, these beautiful animals bring to mind thoughts of power, strength and even wisdom. They are thought to experience some of the same emotions as humans do, including empathy, self-awareness, compassion, and grief. The fascination with these animals is well deserved. So it is no wonder why elephants keep popping up throughout the fashion world. A symbol of style.
Susan uses elephants in many of her pieces, with various intaglios and even an elephant coin. The all gold and the two-tone elephant intaglios are featured below atop a Tracy Negoshian tunic from Susan’s wardrobe.
Elephants can be found in our jewelry and in the world of fashion, but lets not forget their presence in the home, which can be symbolic as well as elegant. With their trunks up (as pictured below) an elephant symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and victory.
With their trunks down, elephants symbolize longevity and conception. Although many superstitious people do not want to stray from the good luck of an upward-facing trunk. Personally, I would for the gorgeous custom wallpaper in the dining room below!
When an elephant is placed in the entry of a home and facing in, it is thought to bring good fortune to the family. In Feng Shui they call this the “Elephant of Many Blessings.” Susan has had this antique elephant statue from the Ming Dynasty in her home since the 70’s, a classic piece that is a beautiful as it (could be!) lucky.
With two of their three species being from Africa, elephants also represent the tribal look. These resin “good luck elephants” were Susan’s grandmothers from the 20’s. They pair so well with the African bone beads on our tribal bracelets. Trunks up!
This pearl necklace features an elephant on an old British shilling. Elegant and historical.
Susan purchased this elephant print top from one of our retailers in Houston, À bientôt. Its always fun to see our jewelry pair so beautifully with the clothing found in the same fabulous boutiques.
So why are we so drawn to these creatures? It could be the symbolism, superstition… or simply because they’re so darn cute!
And just like that, the elephant in the room becomes the thing you are talking about.
Our collection of intaglios are a core part of the Susan Shaw Jewelry line. An intaglio is defined as a small etching (in any surface or material) that creates a raised picture. Intaglios are typically created to be used to stamp with ink or wax, but the beauty of these little etchings made them something to collect and display in your home (or around your neck as jewelry in this case!) Some of our two-tone intaglio necklaces are shown below, including the ever-popular Bee and Fleur de Lis symbols.
When Susan first designed these she was inspired by the old wax seals we used to use on envelopes. In fact, the first of her intaglios were molded from actual antique wax seals similar to the one pictured below.
As time went on, she started to create her own molds in order to involve some more modern symbols, like the ones below from our Equestrian collection.
The newest addition to our intaglio collection are the Venetian glass intaglios. You can see below the molds are the same as our metal intaglios, but the glass gives a whole new looks to these etchings.
This new venetian glass collection will also include some of our European coins as you can see below on the freshwater pearls.
Italian glass seemed fitting to the origin of Intaglios. In 18th century Italy and Greece, these intaglios were souvenirs, gathered throughout one’s travels. Perfect for those that couldn’t afford to buy large statues or artwork, they would instead pick one of these miniature engraved plaster stamps, depicting a scene from their journey, and keep it in a journal with notes about what they had seen. Now these little treasures have made their way into antique shops and it has become a growing trend to frame them in a collection on your wall. You can see some beautiful examples below.
These intaglios may be small, but the history behind them is not.
Whether in your home or in your jewelry, Susan Shaw gives Intaglios our stamp of approval.
Our travel spotlights shines on one of the most prestigious and well known hotels in existence, the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. A hotel as rich in history as it is in luxury, making us so proud to be included in their gift shop. This Park Avenue iconic hotel is known for its high end accommodations as well as its perfect location for those wanting to see all New York has to offer. From Central Park to Times Square to Park Avenue shopping, this hotel is a perfect destination for your next fabulous New York vacation.
When you walk into the lavish hotel lobby you get a feel for the overall art deco look of the hotel.
The ornately carved bronze Waldorf Astoria Clock is the focal point of the grand hotel lobby.
Originally, The Waldorf and The Astoria were two hotels, built by fueding relatives in 1893. They were later connected and the hallway between the two was known and Peacock Alley. The site of these original buildings was sold to the developer of the Empire State Building, which now stands at the very site of the original hotels. The current building was built in 1931 on Park Avenue as the tallest and largest hotel in the world at that time. The photo below is the updated Peacock Alley, which connects the two current hotel buildings and is now home to one of the hotel’s many restaurants.
The Royal Suite, pictured below, earned it’s name when it was the New York home to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The tower suites are located on the top 15 floors of the hotel. They have their own private hotel entrance and the most exclusive accommodations and residences. Jackie and John F. Kennedy spent their wedding night in one of these luxury suites.
Known from early in its history for hosting grand galas and balls, The 4-story ballroom, is legendary for being the ultimate setting for celebrity, business and political events alike.
The hotel gift shop carries Susan Shaw jewelry, including these classic pieces pictured below. So by all means check it out if you find yourself in this gorgeous destination.
In the words of Frank Sinatra (a frequent patron of the Waldorf-Astoria), “Start Spreading the news…. I’m leaving today…” (I wish!)
Sometimes dreaming of vacations is just as fun as taking them… right?!
The Susan Shaw Tribal Collection is here! The African tribal look continues to be a trend we are seeing in the world of fashion and interior design. The attention to detail and eye-catching patterns are what make this handmade look so unique and desirable. Susan Shaw has always valued the handmade look, making many of her own molds, so the tribal beads we have included in this collection seemed like a perfect fit for our line.
The Tabular brass beads (as seen mixed in to the top left and middle necklace above) are all one-of-a-kind. The lost wax process used to make these require a mold be made for each individual bead, which is then destroyed in order to extract the finished bead. So, while some beads look similar, none are the exact same. Once we receive these brass beads, we have them plated in our 24kt gold and hand-strung into our necklace designs.
The string of recycled glass beads seen in aqua in the photo above are made of powdered glass from broken bottles and other scrap glass that has been ground down and then melted into shape. The string of vertical painted beads in the photo below are also made of the recycled glass, but in this case the glass is painted with designs such as the circular shapes and patterns you see here. These beads are all made by hand in West Africa and the sale of these beads to companies in the US helps to support emerging economies while sustaining the livelihood of the native artisans who work so hard to make them.
Susan uses these colored glass beads, brass beads, and painted beads along with natural agate, wood, painted bone, and some of our signature gold pieces to create something truly unique while still staying true to the chic look our line has always had.
Of course we aren’t the only ones keen to this look. The fashion world has also embraced the unique tribal look. Valentino dedicated their Spring/Summer 2016 runway show to the African tribal theme, displaying craftsmanship that was well appreciated.
The mix of tribal prints and conservative structure make this dress below a beautiful interpretation of the look.
Tribal motifs are also wildly popular in interior design. Whether the look is an all-over theme in a room, or just used as an accent piece, it adds interest wherever it goes.
The natural light on the stark white furniture and walls mixes so well with the African textiles like this bright woven rug.
And the tribal print pillows, throws, and hides in the room below create so much interest along with the ornate moldings and other vintage characteristics of the space.
This staircase runner, inspired by the centuries-old traditional African mud cloth, mixes so well next to the modern artwork.
So no matter what the style in your home, tribal accents can enhance it. We just love the fabrics below, which come in custom color ways to suit your needs and create the one-of-a-kind look that is so true to the African artisan.
We hope you enjoy this collection as much as we have enjoyed crafting it.
And when it comes to trying out the tribal look, we suggest you go wild!
Shapes like the Gothic Quatrefoil, Moroccan Arabesque, and the Scallop have been around for centuries we know, but they came back into the modern design world years ago and their popularity has certainly not been waning. Susan Shaw has been using variations of these shapes for years in her jewelry design and also around her home. These quatrefoil pendant necklaces below lay atop a Moroccan-inspired fabric Susan has, showcasing the beautiful lines of these shapes.
The fabric, which she used on these pillows, are an eye-catching addition to her poolside lounge area.
The definition of quatrefoil is a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles. So, just like the arabesque and scallop, it is a geometric shape based on the curves of a circle (as opposed to containing only straight lines). Perhaps one of the reasons these shapes continue to be so popular in design is that they marry the best of two worlds; the eye-catching contrast of a geometric shape and the softness and subtly of the curve.
These quatrefoil chairs by Hickory Chair are a beautiful example of using a classic shape to make something modern.
This mirror below showcases the quatrefoil in this glamorous combination of black and gold.
Susan had used many variations of these shapes in the jewelry line using handcast metal as well as tortoise pieces.
This intricate quatrefoil Susan has paired with freshwater pearls and cotton pearls in this photo below stands out wonderfully against the wallpaper which Susan has in her home. We love the french blue with striking gold!
The french blue and gold combination is stunning in this wallpaper as well, which features the overlapping quatrefoil shapes to create a scalloped pattern. Notice how the Moroccan patterned pillow mixes so nicely in this bedroom!
The scallop wallpaper and chair below remind us that scallop pattern originated with the shell. What a divine place to take a seat!
Another major trend right now is a scallop-like pattern that resembles fish scales. Some call this repeated shape an Ogee (which is basically any shape with a convex and concave curve). We are seeing this pattern in furniture like this gorgeous media piece below by Bernhardt, and this fabulously modern chair by Selemat.
This shape is also quite popular in tile as you can see in this bathroom below. The mixture of the curves in the tile and the mirror with the straight lines in the modern hardware makes this bathroom so dynamic and beautiful.
You may now find yourself noticing these shapes and patterns everywhere! Do you have a favorite? We couldn’t possibly chose!
A garden can serve so many purposes in our lives. It can be a momentary escape from our task lists, computer screens and phones or a beautiful backdrop for an evening gathering of family and friends. Scientists have been touting for years the importance of connecting with nature to your physical and mental health and many cities are now prioritizing the importance of growing their green spaces to bring together communities a tourists alike. For Susan Shaw, gardens can provide inspiration to her designs, so it makes sense she would surround herself with beautiful landscapes at home and in her travels.
At Susan’s home in San Antonio, Texas you can find a gorgeous garden and patio, perfect for inspiring her creations.
Susan and her husband Eric thoroughly enjoy their outdoor space. Many times you can find them playing around this fountain with their granddaughters.
The statues and sculptures are as delicately placed as each planting in their yard to create an oasis of positive energy and artistic stimulation.
Their courtyard is the perfect backdrop for summer nights spent cooking dinner on the grill, and when the sun goes down, the lights on the patio provide a warm glow for evening conversations.
Jewelry that is inspired by nature is the perfect pick for your summer evening spent at a garden party or dining al fresco. Can we get a seat at that table on the cover of Carolyne Roehm’s book please!🙂
Of course Susan is not the only designer inspired by nature. In fact, the floral trend has been taking over the fashion world lately and can be found on nearly every runway.
Pair your Susan Shaw jewelry with a floral print dress and you are ready for an elegant summer evening.
If gardens are fuel for the soul, you can see how new ideas are blooming every day. So don’t hesitate to wander outside- be it at your home, around your neighborhood, or in your local park- to find what might inspire you.
Our travel spotlight shines on a wonderful southern city today, known for its unique culture and friendly people. Charleston, South Carolina is not only a historical city filled with gorgeous architecture dating back to the beginning of our country, but also a city that is in tune with modern culture, full of public parks, local commerce, the arts, and topping list after list of the best cities to visit in the United States. Charleston truly has it all. Susan and her husband Eric love to visit this charming city and so we’ve decided to highlight their experiences in the Lowcountry.
What to Pack
So let’s pack our bags- remember to pack bright– yes we mean bright not light- the colorful clothing is a signature style in Charleston, so why not do as the locals do and celebrate the elegance of color. Perhaps choose some turquoise jewelry from Susan Shaw and, along with your colorful wardrobe, you will need some beautiful yet comfortable shoes. The walking culture in Charleston is one of our favorite things about the city, but mind your heels- the locals know how to navigate the cobblestone streets in their stilettos but may we suggest a wedge or flat for your first visit?🙂 The weather is another big tourism draw to the city- their mild winters make it a great place to go to when the rest of the country is covered in snow! But if you find yourself visiting in those hot summer months, you’ll be glad to know you are minutes away from some beautiful beaches such as Folly beach and Sullivan’s Island.
Where to Eat
The delicious restaurants in Charleston are an attraction all their own! Every meal Susan and her husband Eric enjoyed on their most recent trip was fabulous and we highlighted a few of them below.
If you’re a fan of Oysters, you must try Pearlz Oyster Bar on East Bay Street. Need the perfect necklace? Susan’s brand new gilded Oyster shell pendants are the perfect accessory!
For some of the best soft-shell crab you will ever have, visit Slightly North of Broad also known as S.N.O.B., maybe because their menu would please even the most discerning foodie.
Don’t miss Hank’s, a seafood institutuion for over 16 years. Meet the friendly people of Charleston at their community table while you enjoy your meal. If you have time, visit the City Market nearby, one of the nation’s oldest public markets and a treasure that tops the lists of things to see in Charleston.
Enjoy dinner at Coast in Hutson Alley, charleston’s newest restaurant scene, and then wander into the alley after dinner for some live music. This is what a perfect Charleston evening is made of.
Finally, enjoy a nightcap (a local bourbon perhaps?) at Victor Social Club in the alley. Bow tie not required but you’ll see them all around this vibrant and stylish city.
Where to Shop
Now there are many visitors who come to Charleston for the shopping. King Street has been named one of the “10 Top Shopping Districts in USA” by Forbes Traveler and you won’t want to miss it! Below are 2 shops on lower King Street who sell Susan Shaw jewelry in Charleston. Stop by and find something perfect to accessorize your Charleston look.
One of the highlights on Susan’s trip was the 69th annual Home & Garden Festival. They took the South Battery Home Tour allowing them to tour some of the most historical and gorgeous mansions, some dating back to before the civil war. No photos were allowed in the homes, but some of the photos below show their facades and gardens. If you find yourself in Charleston during this festival we highly recommend taking one of these amazing tours.
Some of the oldest homes in Charleston are on East Bay Street and make up what is called Rainbow Row. The architecture is a prime example of the uniqueness that makes this city so appealing to residents and tourists. Not to mention the fabulous colors!
The wonderful parks in Charleston are not to be missed! Hampton Park, Waterfront Park, White Point Garden are among some of the most visited. Susan and Eric visited the Magnolia Plantation where they enjoyed lunch and took these gorgeous photos below.
Many have referred to Charleston as “a city set in a garden” and we couldn’t agree more. If you travel between November and March you will be taken aback by the beauty of the blooming Camellias.
Legend of the Pineapple
The pineapple is a symbol in Charleston dating back to the city’s colonial days as a shipping port. Sea Captains would return from their travels with many exotic things, including pineapples which they would post outside their homes to signal to their friends they had returned safely. These pineapples were may times posted up on a gate outside their home as an invitation to come inside and enjoy stories of their travels. From this the pineapple became a symbol of hospitality and can be found all over the city including in the iron works of front gates. Below is a pineapple fountain Susan happened upon on her trip as well as a famous fountain in Charleston’s Waterfront Park.
We simply can’t mention Charleston without a shoutout to one of our favorite reality shows that is filmed there. Southern Charm on Bravo follows a group of 30 somethings who live and work in Charleston and, aside from some drama we’ve come to know in many reality shows, we love seeing the city, the culture and the fashion from their point of view. Speaking of fashion, one of the cast members, Jennifer Snowden has been seen this season sporting our jewelry! Many of her fans asked where to find the necklaces she has been wearing and so below is her Instagram account crediting Susan Shaw! Whether its our equestrian necklace, white turquoise intaglio necklace, or the turquoise quad-cross pendant necklace, she wears it all well!
We love being a part of the southern elegant fashion the Charleston embodies.
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a quick shopping trip with your girlfriends, we suggest putting Charleston on your list. Safe travels!
It is fascinating that someone’s trash, a broken bottle perhaps, can undergo the strength of the ocean and wash up on shore like a true piece of treasure. This is the beautiful story of sea glass. Each wave that hits it causes the glass to soften and frost over to become a thing of beauty. Susan has taken these treasures and formed something of her own: her Sea Glass Collection.
Each piece is hand picked and paired with her 24kt handcast gold accents. The hand-knotted chains of Jade and Aqua Quartz below compliment the sea glass so beautifully.
Susan has a variety of sea life intaglios for this collection. The photos below show the crab, sea turtle, shell and starfish pendants.
The peaceful colors that are found in sea glass are also a perfect accent in the home. These glass tiles would be gorgeous in a bathroom or kitchen- be it at your coastal getaway or in your own home.
And these frosty sea glass-inspired sinks are such a cool accent to a calming bathroom.
These chandeliers remind us of Susan’s designs. What a fantastic use of sea glass!
This kitchen would be gorgeous for a coastal home with the ocean hues, the glimmering backsplash, and the clam shell full of sea glass balls on the breakfast table- but we would love this look in any home. The beach vibes would bring a good mood to anyone who enters this kitchen!
The Vietri Sea Glass collection of dishes below are a work of art almost too pretty to put away in a kitchen cabinet! Perfect for summer entertaining!
So it’s that time of year again! You know, the holiday when you need to get a gift and/or card but your mom can’t help you because it’s for her? It’s Mother’s Day! Coming to a home near you May 8th- so don’t forget! And in case your mom wants something more than an eye roll, read on…
Hint: Flowers and jewelry are always a step in the right direction. Any moms reading this? Feel free to forward these images to your well-meaning children. (They even have retail links embedded!)
While all of Susan Shaw’s designs are perfect gifts, we singled out the initials collection and our pieces with pearls for that loving woman running your life in your life.
Now whoever said being a mom is the most rewarding job you’ll ever have, wasn’t talking about the gifts on Mother’s Day. No. We all know it’s about a lot more. Moms just need a day for her children to stop and remember that they have given you life, love, and more care than they probably give themselves.
You may not realize until you’re all grown up how much your mom has given to make your life possible and to give you everything she knew you needed. Maybe you have children of your own and that’s when it hits you. By that time you will be dealing with some of the exact same trouble you gave your parents…what goes around… comes back as your child🙂
So make a day of it! Take your mom to lunch! Let her get dressed up and enjoy a cellphone-free conversation with you. Better yet, bring this gorgeous necklace below- just come up right behind her, she will see it with those eyes in the back of her head!
Whatever you do, just make her feel special like you know she deserves. Say “sorry” (I mean there is something you must have done) and say “thank you”.
And remember if all else fails write your mom this note: “Dear Mom, I love you.” That is really all she wants to hear.