Androgyny Design was born from somewhat of a love story – what began as a high school romance between founders Courtney and Jerad, evolved into an artistic expression of two creative and like-minded souls; the point at which their visions intersect is where Androgyny dwells. Both Courtney and Jerad contribute their own aesthetic and inspirational touch to each piece of jewelry in the collection; masculine and feminine, delicate and industrial, ethereal and earthly, thus creating the dichotomy that translates into each beautiful piece.
We’ve had our eyes on these nail rings and crystal-adorned pieces for awhile now, and were thrilled when Courtney opened up the doors to their sunny Los Angeles studio to invite us in. Read our interview with this power duo below, and shop for your own androgynous adornments here.
CULT: Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How did the two of you meet and how was Androgyny born?
Courtney: It’s one of my favorite stories actually. Jerad and I both grew up in Colorado and we met in high school. His red hair was much longer then, and his passion for creating art through film, even back then, was magnetic. Fast forward through college; he went to film school, and I studied fashion. After working in our separate creative endeavors, Jerad worked on film sets while I pursued trend forecasting, Androgyny naturally came to be by our shared love of making art through various mediums that pushed our own creative boundaries. Jewelry was new a territory for both of us.
Jerad: Over our 9 year long relationship, we’ve grown together, and we both have a major influence on one another. As Courtney shared her work with me, I became interested in the art from the lens of fashion and design. I designed a ring for her that I thought she would like, and that’s when we started collaborating. It planted the seed.
CULT: You work together on designs and production – are there any difficulties working collaboratively on the business side of things?
Courtney: I take care of all the business duties from the marketing to the bookkeeping. It’s more manageable for both of us since Jerad is also a filmmaker and studio technician by day. The tricky and always interesting part for us is collaborating on the designs. We both have such distinct tastes that are separate from one another. I’m very bohemian and spiritual with an affinity for color, while Jerad has a taste for the all things industrial and vintage. Seeing the results of our combined aesthetics is pretty magical.
CULT: Androgyny is about the dichotomy of masculine and feminine; What do you think you both contribute to each design?
Courtney: The element of spirituality and crystal healing comes from me. I believe the jewelry should evoke a feeling for the wearer and I love working with raw stones. The studio is constantly generating good vibes. I also bring in a sense of wearability when Jerad starts out with a more avant garde design.
Jerad: My style is very artistic. I’ve always enjoyed sculpting art from random pieces of metal.. clock parts, cutlery, etc. Everything I create has a roughness to it.
CULT: What was the first piece of jewelry you ever designed?
Jerad: I designed the first Androgyny piece for Courtney as a gift. It was a ring made from the prongs of a fork.
Courtney: I still have it and cherish it!
CULT: Where do you look to for sources of inspiration?
Courtney: I find inspiration from the most mundane places. There’s so much beauty where no one else is looking. The best seeds come from walking or driving around the city looking at small architectural details on old apartment buildings, or the xeriscaping in front of businesses. My phone is full of random images that I refer back to later. I also get my daily fix from the like-minded curators I follow on Pinterest and Instagram. It’s my creative breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Jerad: For me, it’s films and photography. My work is a major influence on my design ideas for the line. I look to websites like Nowness, Colossal, and Ignat for sparks of inspiration. I have a fascination with dark imagery and the beauty you can find in it.
CULT: Are there any challenges working and living in the same space?
Courtney: At first I didn’t see the challenge. Since I’m a morning person, most of my best work is done before 9am. What could be better than waking up, meditating, and then stepping right into the studio? No time to get distracted by the world on the way to work. I’ve been working on the line full time for about 3 months now, and I’m starting to realize that balance is key, and getting out of the house is just as valuable as locking myself up to work for three days.
CULT: If you could raid one person’s jewelry stash, who would it be?
Courtney: Dylan and Lex (@DylanLex); They’re eclectic layering goddesses! Every time I sift through the jewelry section of a vintage or thrift shop, I find myself thinking what would Dylan and Lex do?
CULT: Where are your favorite places to go in LA to escape, refresh and revive?
Courtney: Jerad and I like to actually get out of the city to escape, like going to the Integratron in Joshua Tree or wine tasting in Santa Barbara. My ultimate reset button is going to remote beaches in Malibu to hide in a rocky cove for the day. For the times I can’t make it out of the city, I find going around the Arts District downtown, parking, and exploring can serve my creative brain.
CULT: Favorite quote:
Courtney: “There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself”. -Diana Vreeland
Jerad: “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon.