Jewelry design

Nikki Reed on Durability, Jewelry Design, and How to Pick the Perfect Engagement Ring


Nikki Reed has always interested in jewelry. The actress turned designer comes from a long line of women artists and designers (her great-grandmother was a jewelry designer). It’s no surprise, then, that her brand Bayou With Love has quietly become a staple for couples looking for lasting options for their wedding rings and engagement rings.

Motivated by the lack of truly eco-friendly jewelry available, Reed launched the brand to address what she saw as a need in the market: timeless, durable pieces that will last a lifetime. “There is a world where luxury and sustainability can coexist,” says Reed. And her line of consciously crafted jewelry and accessories does just that.

We sat down with the jewelry designer to talk about her mission, finding the perfect engagement ring, and how to make your marriage more lasting. Read on to find out more Nikki Reed, a woman on a mission.

Its eco-responsible mission

Sustainability is in Bayou with Love’s DNA – they were the first direct-to-consumer brands to use recycled gold recovered from discarded technologies – and Reed is working to change the way people understand gems and durable metals.

“There were so many misconceptions going around. If I said “recycled gold,” then people would think, “oh, that’s probably fake gold,” which is not the case at all, Reed adds. Bayou with Love also works with cultured diamonds, and it took some work for buyers to understand that they have no molecular difference to traditionally mined diamonds. “The more we educate our customers about it, the more they become curious about what sustainability can mean,” says Reed.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

Finding success on your own terms

What you might not know about Reed is that she’s had her fair share of success. and the failure to start his jewelry business. “In my early twenties, I launched my first collection of jewelry, which no one would remember… no one should remember,” Reed laughs. She had to grow in herself and her commitment to sustainable development to finally blossom with Bayou with Love. And she is fully committed to growing her business, just like the jewelry she sells, in a sustainable way.

“I wasn’t fully realized as an artist and designer in my early twenties. So I’m thankful that it was short lived because I feel like what I’m creating now is a lot more a reflection of who I am and what I believe in, ”Reed said. Today, she is committed to growing her business in a smart way, “proving that slow and conscious production makes things better.” This is his mantra.

Where she draws her inspiration

Bayou with Love is no typical celebrity affair. Reed is involved in everything from ethically sourcing the diamonds they use (the brand works with California manufacturers that use solar power) to site photography, which she takes entirely on her own.

In fact, photography is part of his design process. “I’m a nature photographer,” Reed explains. “So I spend time in nature. I look at my photograph and integrate it into our design.

Her life at home, with her husband Ian Somerhalder and their daughter Bodhi, also inspires her designs. The Bayou with Love shell collection is the result of a time spent on the beach with the family. “I said [my daughter] I would make his shell, and I did. And then it turned into ‘Wait, why isn’t this part of our whole collection?’ ”

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

Her best advice for buying rings

Reed’s clients come to Bayou with love, not because they saw her in dusk or know her work as an actress, but because the brand is one of the few sustainable options on the market. She often works with newlyweds, whose primary concern is whether their partners’ rings will last a lifetime.

His advice? “If you go for the classic, you can’t go wrong. Reed strives to design outside of trend cycles, focusing on traditional designs with a twist. She also loves the idea of ​​adding a second piece to your stack of rings to make your engagement choice feel fresh years later.

“I can’t change the cost of gold. And I can’t pay my employees or factory workers less. But what I can do is create a coin that makes five,” he explains. -she. Stick with the classics and you will never regret your ring. Plus, adding a new band to your wedding jewelry makes it an ideal anniversary gift for your future.

Her advice for a lasting marriage

While Reed has definitely doubled her sustainability efforts since her marriage in 2015 – “we’re still growing” – many of the steps she took to reduce the environmental impact of her ceremony still ring true today. ‘hui. She rented vintage pieces for her wedding furniture and used compostable plates.

Small steps to making sure your wedding pieces are reusable are the key to an eco-friendly big day. “I told all my bridesmaids, wear whatever dress you want,” Reed says. “I don’t care even if you wear shoes – I just don’t want you to buy something for a day that you will never wear again; I want it to be something you like.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

Her latest jewelry collection

For people looking for an engagement ring with special meaning, Bayou With Love is here to help tell your love story. As Reed says, “If you went out of your way to find a ring with the smallest footprint possible and didn’t harm the environment… it would make me fall in love with someone even more.” Keep scrolling for an exclusive preview of her latest collection from Bayou With Love.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

I try to create outside of trend cycles. So that doesn’t mean that they aren’t trendy, cool and good-looking, but it does mean that it doesn’t necessarily correspond to a short-lived fashion moment.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

I love a classic silhouette with a modern and lasting touch.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

Versatility is the key to durability. This is another of my mantras.

Bayou with love / Design by Tiana Crispino

My goal is to create the piece that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

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