As an undergraduate at Washington and Lee, Noelani Love ’05 often made homemade jewelry as presents for friends. Before long her friends were getting constant “Where’d you get that?” questions, so Noe set up a table in Elrod Commons and sold her in-demand creations. That was just the start.
Next month, Noelani Designs, offering her handcrafted earrings, bracelets and necklaces, will celebrate its fifth year in business. Noe established the company only months after she graduated from W&L with a double major in studio art and Spanish. In December 2005, she moved to Hawaii. Although she grew up in North Carolina, Noe’s mother is Hawaiian. Her handcrafted designs are clearly inspired by her environment. She has described her style as “part island-glam, part elegantly exotic.”
In a feature about Noe in Hawaii-based DISfunkshion magazine in late 2008, she described the inspiration for her work: “Most of my pieces have an element of nature, whether it be made out of natural materials, [like] shell, wood, feathers, stones, or in the abstract shapes of nature. Everything beautiful on this planet comes from nature and I think it’s important to preserve that beauty. My jewelry is wearable art that is a tribute to our sacred space.”