We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erik, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the the success of our brand is that I pursue excellence in everything I create. I was taught by my mother, the founder of the business, that every piece of jewelry we create should be considered a timeless treasure. Much of what we have made over the past 35 years has been created for an important event in ones life. And those items, an engagement ring, for example, will be worn daily for the rest of the owner’s life, and often handed down to future generations. So, the piece must be built to the highest standards and aesthetic considerations.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Unlike most jewelers I have a specific focus. 90% of what I make is custom-ordered, and one-of-a-kind. While I always make a few pieces for inventory, that bulk of my production is is tailor made for an individual collector. I like to get to know my clients and understand their personal style before making anything. I like to have one-on-one consultation to be able to design with them, which allows my clients to have as much input as possible in the piece. What’s exciting about working with people on the project is that, with their feedback, my work gets pushed in to new directions on almost every piece. I think I’ve always had a knack for the creative arts. Where I find challenge is in promoting myself. I have always been proud of what I create but, I have a hard time sharing my work. I prefer to let people stumble upon my work, by word of mouth rather than advertising what I do.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite places to visit in South Florida is Matheson Hammock Park, by bicycle. I love to ride through the mangroves and rest on the beach. There’s always something fun to watch while you’re there, from windsurfers and paddle boarders to egrets walking on the sand and the occasional raccoon scurrying about. I always take friends visiting from out of town to Girlada, in the Gables. There’s plenty of outdoor seating and a wonderful assortment of food options. And in Miami, on Coral Way, I always bring my guests to Sergio’s. While there’s a lot of wonderful Cuban restaurants in Miami, I spent a lot of time there as a child and teenager, and it just feels right. It’s my comfort food, when I’m feeling like a cheat meal. I think the Venetian Pool is a must-visit. First, because it’s an institution in the Gables. If you grew up here, you probably spent countless hours there as a kid. But, it’s also one of the most beautiful pools I’ve ever been in. And, I spent quite a few years training there before getting a scholarship to swim in college, so I have a soft place in my heart for it.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother was and is the most creative person that I know. In her years as a jewelry designer I learned everything that I know about proportion and scale from her. She taught me all about color theory and how to compliment the piece that I’m making by selecting the right stones for the job.

Website: bydesignjewelers.com
Instagram: instagram.com/bydesignjewelers
Facebook: .facebook.com/ByDesignJewelers
Yelp: yelp.com/biz/by-design-jewelers-coral-gables?osq=by+design+jewelers

Image Credits
Erik Lopez

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