The jewelry business is a treasure trove of skilled artisans and geo-divers. Every designer holds a unique background that’s studded with a passion for art and appreciation for quality, two top-shelf ingredients that are almost expected from any aspiring professional. A select few, however, manage to elevate their hobby into a fleshed out empire, making waves in their respective communities through innovative approaches and droplets of artistry that paint a much bigger picture. To achieve this level of expertise means to lead by example, uniting magnetic designs with authenticity as clear as diamonds. The LA-based bounty, By Barnett, comes to mind, and having only been in operation since 2019, this compelling force in wearable art is quickly mounting itself as the only viable choice in the business.
By Barnett’s founder, Erin Barnett, discovered a love for watches and timely design during a transitional period in his professional career. His induction into the glittering world of jewelry was akin to stumbling upon a cave speckled with precious gemstones, a whole world sparkling before him, waiting to be uncovered. The difference with Barnett was the vision that soon developed. It’s often said that what truly defines an artist is the way that they see the world, for the magic lives in the eyes. Barnett did not just happen upon the industry, but instead saw a cavity of creativity that needed to be filled, and he was up for the challenge. In a world of alluring stones, it takes a special pair of eyes to find the diamonds.
“Jewelry is one of those peculiars that if you don’t know any better, you can easily get taken advantage of,” said Barnett. “I wanted to do something that not only made me happy, but made others happy as well.”
Barnett is a Texan at heart, and as a result aims for the big stars. Growing up in Austin, he found himself in California pursuing transparency and authority in his studies at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the highly-respected academy for industry professionals worldwide. The program fosters leading figures in jewelry and gemstone classification, polishing its pupils to become the next jurisdiction in gemology. Barnett was shown the protocols in classifying real diamonds, and used the knowledge he gained in this program and in real life practice to design pieces he wanted to wear himself. It wasn’t long before his style struck passersby on the streets and, eventually, household names of LA’s bourgeoisie.
Barnett has recently opened up a new fully custom built private showroom, effectively separating his trade from the average storefront. The studio is a lofty white galleria with soft light pouring in from the windows, casting a flurry of impressions on the wall art, which ranges from commissioned work by local artists to striking centerpieces by Sean Crim and MiMo. The space offers an intimate experience for potential clients, whether it’s initial conversations about a custom design in the foyer or a walk through the showroom, located just around the back of the studio.
“We recently opened up a second space with an in-house design and manufacturing team here in LA,” Barnett explained. “I like to have my nose in every single stage of a custom piece, which could take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, start to finish.”
Barnett’s designs are a direct reflection of the clients he has worked with in the past, a living portfolio that develops with each visit. Part of By Barnett’s success rides on the ability to craft meaningful creations that speak for the client, marking a pivotal moment in their life with a real showstopper.
“The inventory showcased on my Instagram is a collection of people I’ve worked with who trust me to make something special for them,” said Barnett. “I love creating…taking someone’s idea, adding my spin to it, making it into something else. Seeing their face is the most rewarding part.”
Beyond delectable eye candy, the studio prides itself on peerless quality that guarantees maximum clarity in its sourcing and styling. The jewelry business can be a deceptive industry to navigate, and Barnett seeks to illuminate this portion of the process in each stage of conception. In his first three years of starting By Barnett, securing reliable, trustworthy gem providers was paramount to the success of the studio, and Barnett himself spent unwavering hours studying and sourcing the best in the business.
“When people work with me, they know there will never be a question of quality,” said Barnett. “The diamonds, for example, come from all over the world, but I’ve spent a great deal of time finding the best partners to work with.”
This accountability is the gold standard for graduates of GIA, and becomes the most critical aspect of the creative process for Barnett and his team. A true treasure is only as bright as its birth, which explains why Barnett’s designs gleam authenticity that’s loud enough to allow him to work with a wide range of A-list celebrities in the music and sports world.
From neckline to navel, all of By Barnett’s pieces are meant to compliment the shapes they occupy, leaning more towards fashionable statements than simple utility. Much of Barnett’s clientele seek custom work to commemorate major chapters in their lives or mark a special occasion, as momentous as the situation demands it to be. The thing about wearable art is that it deals in limitless self-expression. There is no right or wrong way to flatter yourself, and By Barnett aims to dress the best of your memories with shimmering allure.
It’s fairly easy to tell that a lot of passion bleeds from Barnett’s work, be it scrupulous detail or dedication to concrete production. Barnett is an avid boxer, and will often hit the gym before heading into the studio to get amped up before sitting down at the drawing board. To a typical bystander, the nuances of jewelry making can feel relative, or even dismissive so long as the stone shines. There is more than meets the eye, in fact, and By Barnett is showing us what it means to take pride in gem-stamped pieces with purpose. With plenty of creative projects burning in the pipeline, and a loyal following of spectators at the heel, By Barnett is sweeping the business by staying a cut above the rest.
Launched in 2019, By Barnett is an LA-based jewelry studio that puts quality over quantity. Run by Gemological Institute of America graduate Erin Barnett, he is known for his elevated level of transparency and attention to detail in the jewelry he makes and sells. With a vibrant by appointment only studio that tailors to many high-profile clientele, By Barnett has quickly become one of the most desirable custom jewelers to work with in the Los Angeles area.
Source: By Barnett