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Rhody Made Loren Hope Jewelry Arrives in Nordstrom Store Across the US

What started as a hobby in 2005 has become a local success story

So Rhode Island Magazine ·

In September 2015, we profiled Loren Barham and her sparkly line of chic, colorful high-end costume jewelry designed and created here in Rhode Island, Loren Hope. Her hard work and talent have paid off in a big way; the brand was approached by Nordstrom seeking to carry its lines in 2016. We caught up with Loren and her husband, company CEO Aaron Barham, at their bright, airy converted mill space in East Greenwich, where all design, shipping, quality control, customer service and sales take place.

What started as a kitchen table hobby in 2005 now necessitates six full time and three temporary employees including a second designer, Abby. Beautiful vintage pieces adorn a table in the studio – classic names now highly sought after, like Coro and Miriam Haskell. Loren’s appreciation for Rhode Island’s history as the jewelry manufacturing capital of the US led the Barhams to relocate from North Carolina in 2012. She strives to blend antique and modern vibes in metal cuffs, sparkly drop earrings and studs, pendants and statement necklaces housing colorful gemstones. “I want my pieces to be collectible in 40 years,” Loren says.

Nordstrom approached the brand in 2016 requesting samples. In July, an initial line was tested in a few stores. By the fall, they had decided to carry Loren Hope in all 112 locations. Loren’s team had only a few weeks to fulfill the massive order. Now, replenishment orders arrive weekly, allowing the company to track which styles and colors are most popular.

The Barhams are taking their sudden success in stride. “We want to scale responsibly,” says Aaron. “Fast fashion sales models devalue a brand, and we want to maintain our integrity over time. It’s a delicate balance; if we start taking on more than we can handle, the quality will deteriorate. The ethical side is also really important. We have profit share and bonus programs for all of our employees. Making everything here allows us to make art first and then figure out how to sell it, rather than cater to trends.” 

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This story was originally posted by So Rhode Island Magazine. Click here to view the original story in its entirety.