Heavy Metal: Cradle Jewelry

Instagram is one of my favorite places to discover jewelry and clothing lines that I haven't yet been introduced to. It's a treasure trove of visual stimulation and creative inspiration. On one of my rabbit hole adventures on Instagram, I recently discovered Cradle Jewelry, an indie line based in Portland, Ore., that's helmed by 28-year-old designer Sonia Marie Mitchell. Since discovering her line, I've been crushing on her work, which she describes as being "influenced by European minimalist and avant garde design." As a new fan, I had to learn more about this innovative artist. 

When and how did you launch your line, and how did you come up with the name Cradle Jewelry?

I have been designing jewelry off and on for years and first started selling my pieces in Bay Area boutiques in 2006. I then moved to New York City to work in the fashion industry, but I still accepted commissioned work. While there I took classes with Studio Jewelers Ltd. and at (the now defunct) 3rd Ward. Before I knew it, I was spending almost all of my free time making pieces and had soon designed most of the current collection. 

In pursuit of more space and time, I took a big leap and moved to Portland and launched Cradle. The name Cradle was a name that stuck with me in brainstorming. Cradle is a place of origin, of beginnings, and one cradles something, or someone, that is cherished and cared for. It seemed fitting for a handmade line. 

What’s the aesthetic of the line?

It is very much modern minimalist. I try to create pieces that are elegant but bold and volatile. They can transform themselves to fit any situation. In a world of ever consuming “fast fashion” I wanted to challenge that concept by creating a line that was both modern and timeless.

What are a few of your favorite pieces?

If I had to choose, I would say the Aella and Ara rings are my favorites.

How would you suggest wearing your jewelry?

My pieces can really be worn with anything. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They really pop on solid colors like black or grey but are minimal enough to wear with even the craziest patterns. The necklaces can be worn alone, or are great for layering with other necklaces. One of my newest pieces even comes in multiple chain lengths specifically because I think it looks great in multiple.

How would you describe your personal style?

Like my jewelry, my personal style is fairly minimalist. I wear a lot of black, grey and white. I like to have a solid palate to accessorize with lots of jewelry because that's my favorite part. The only colors I'll really wear are red or right now I have an infatuation with cobalt blue (hence the blue block eye make-up in my recent shoot). I also don't wear a lot of pattern and tend to stick to classic stripes and polka dots. I can't begin to count the number of black ankle boots I own. I live in ankle boots, maxi skirts or black pants, and either my leather or army green vintage jacket.

What’s your favorite brand of denim?

I don't really wear denim but I do own a pair of Cheap Mondays. 

What fashion designer (or beauty brand) are you eyeing right now?

I am obsessed with the Israeli designer Alon Livne. His work is surreal and other worldly and I am blown away by the beauty and strength of his designs.

What’s your favorite skin care item?

I used to work in skin care so this is really tough. I really like the Juice Beauty antioxidant serum but I would have to say my ultimate favorite is simply lavender water. I mix drops of lavender essential oil with water in a cobalt glass spray bottle. I use it obsessively. Lavender is already a natural antioxidant. It moisturizes and cleans your skin and is an anti-stress remedy all at the same time.

What beauty products would we find in your purse?

So many lipsticks! I have every color of lipstick in my purse at all times. Although I mostly wear a bright orangey-red shade. 

Mani or pedi? 

I suppose a pedicure makes more sense. Since I'm a jeweler I would ruin a manicure pretty quickly.

Lip gloss or lip balm?

Balm, I don't even own lip gloss. 

Heels or flats?

Ankle boots.