Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Erica Courtney hosted a trunk show at Underwood Jewelers in Ponte Vedra Beach Nov. 10.
Courtney shared her pieces with employees and customers and then spoke about a recent trip to Vietnam to find a rare spinel, a famous mineral and gemstone that Courtney uses to design her pieces.
“I love the dirty part just as much as the fabulous part,” said Courtney after describing the sometimes-treacherous conditions involved with these gem-collecting adventures. “I go to learn where everything comes from.”
Courtney, who has been designing jewelry for over 30 years, said her career began one day when she attached a few rhinestones to a pair of sunglasses, placed them on her head, walked out of her home in Dallas with her mom and received a compliment about the sunglasses from a random passerby. Her mother told the person Erica was a jewelry designer and that the person should buy the glasses from her. Since then, Courtney has seen her pieces in movies, in primetime television shows and on the red carpet, adorning celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara and Sandra Bullock.
“She comes up with some stones that you’ve never heard of,” said Scott MacKenzie, an Underwood Jewelers customer and Ponte Vedra Beach resident. “It’s just different.”
On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Underwood’s will host another trunk show to benefit Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue. The event will conclude Dec. 1 with a cocktail party from 6 to 8 p.m. and a raffle for a Lagos Diamonds & Caviar diamond-beaded bracelet valued at $2,750. All of the raffle proceeds will benefit Ayla’s Acres, and 10 percent of overall sales on Lagos jewelry at the event will also be donated to the organization. Actor, artist and animal advocate Loretta Swit will be a special guest at the party.