Meet Briana Erin, the creative mind behind LA jewelry company Tat2 Designs.
LA jewelry designer Briana Erin was born with an artist’s mind, both literally and figuratively. Growing up with two talented working artists for parents, she was, at the least, encouraged to pursue her creative passions. “Not only was I allowed to choose my outfits as kid, I was encouraged to accessorize,” she laughs. Now, she owns, runs, and designs Tat2, a jewelry company specializing in metal gradients and antique finishes. Having hailed from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Briana incorporates an array of mixed metals such as pewter, brass, and copper, 24k gold and sterling silver plate, as well as Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, and leather in her designs. “I keep trends in mind, but design jewelry that is ageless and timeless. I believe that jewelry memorializes moments, so the style should last a lifetime, not a season.”
Read on to learn more about Tat2 Designs, and shop her pieces here.
Where did you grow up? How has that shaped who you are today?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I spent a lot of time between Hollywood and the beach, so I like to think I embody glam rock and a free spirit in my style and personality. I draw a lot of inspiration from LA, I’m rooted here, but have always craved exposure to as many different cultures, people, and traditions as I could pack into one lifetime.
You hail from a very creative family. Did that have an impact on you growing up?
Definitely! My parents are working artists: my dad, a creative director and master sculptor, and my mom, a graphic designer and my partner in Tat2 Designs, so success and passion were never mutually exclusive to me. I saw the possibilities of following an untraditional path and was able to really explore what sets my soul on fire.
What drew you to jewelry?
Not only was I allowed to choose my outfits as kid, I was encouraged to accessorize. Needless to say, I don’t know if it was the sparkle or shine, but my love of jewelry started young. My parents have photos of me at four years old stringing beads to make necklaces! My grandfather also started a coin collection for me when I was younger, and coins still make up the foundation of my jewelry aesthetic. I love the look of antique coins and the idea that you are able to wear a piece of history.
Where does the name Tat2 come from?
Jewelry is an extension of body art, right? Both bold and delicate, yet full of personal style. No one wears jewelry the same way, so it becomes a part of your story.
You wear many hats at Tat2 — how do you balance it all while still having time for yourself?
I wish I had a formula! It’s a daily practice with a lot of help from family, a great group of friends that love and support me, and my fiancé (who is very chill).
Tell me about the creative inspiration for the collection.
This collection was hugely inspired by a trip to India I took earlier this year with my brother. We were lucky enough to be there during Holi festival, when the country is awash in the brightest colors, and this was unlike anything I’d ever seen! Mostly, it was Varanasi (one of the oldest cities in the world) and the Ganges River that I fell in love with. I ran home and designed everything around Labradorite, which changes from blue to green as it moves, just like the Ganges.
What type of woman did you have in mind when designing Tat2?
Women with spark! I design for the woman who is hip and stylish, not trendy, and who is bold and sophisticated.
You are constantly on the move! How are your world travels represented in your jewelry?
Quite literally. I incorporate coins and artifacts that I collect at flea markets, estate sales, bazaars, and storefronts from every city I visit into every piece I design. Each collection is inspired by a different city I visit, so the jewelry turns into my personal scrapbooks.
What is your jewelry philosophy? How do you like to wear your favorite pieces?
I keep trends in mind, but design jewelry that is ageless and timeless. I believe that jewelry memorializes moments, so the style should last a lifetime, not a season.
Do you have a most treasured item in your personal jewelry collection?
I have an onyx and diamond pinky ring from my maternal grandmother, as well as a gold band passed down from my paternal great grandmother, that I never take off. More recently, my engagement ring, which I designed. I wanted a black diamond from my fiancé and designed my ring around that.
Tell me about your newest pieces and the inspiration behind them. Any favorites in particular?
I’m really featuring my coins, and this time my collection is a global one, incorporating coins from all over the world, treasured and newly acquired, rather than showcasing ones solely from a particular region I just traveled to.
What’s next? What’s your vision for the future of your brand?
I’ll be in Paris and Lisbon next, so definitely will soak up a ton of inspiration there. As for the future of Tat2? More precious stones, fine jewelry settings, and a few other things I’ll keep up my sleeve.
Thank you, Briana!