Lauren Brokaw isn’t afraid to make headlines. As the founder and designer of Los Angeles-based jewellery designer Stella and Bow, she’s made a name for herself by making Internet-friendly designs that fuse pop culture and activism. From launching a Mean Girls themed collection to a Hillary Clinton-inspired “Nasty” bracelet (with funds donating to Planned Parenthood), the secret to Brokaw’s success is tapping into what our hearts are longing for.

While she is renown for her statement pieces, this season turns a new leaf for Stella and Bow. With a newly released fall jewellery line, Brokaw turns to IM Pei to Zaha Hadid as her muses.

Brokaw dishes her love for pop culture, animal rights, how architects inspire her and why you can’t sacrifice quality.

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You've made quite a splash with your statement jewellery pieces. As a designer, why is it important for you to make a statement?

It’s important to me to make a statement through jewellery because I’ve learned that I have the ability to create change in a positive way. We try to do this in a fun and non-offensive way and want people to have fun and be involved in a movement.

The items are great conversation starters. I was shocked by how many people got involved with the Nasty bracelets. We sold out so many times and have raised a significant amount in a few short months. So many people reached out to me by email or DM to let me know their personal stories with Planned Parenthood. We love this response and are so glad our bracelets motivated people to take action! We also got to participate in a fun event with Emma Stone benefiting Planned Parenthood.

Pop culture has been a huge source of your inspiration. What made you become inspired by it and how do you relate to it?

Growing up in Beverly Hills, with a family in the entertainment business, I have constantly been around pop culture and the news. Being current and aware of what is going on around us, and knowing trends is important as a designer. I love to bring all forms of pop culture into my social media and designs, not only because I love them but also because I think it is a great way to interact with followers.

I have designed collections around things going on around us, whether it be art, travel, social media, or news related. I also use pop culture with Instagram. I’ll take pictures at unique destinations or events that are relevant and use current trendy song titles or lyrics for captions. I think it makes the brand more interesting and fun.

Apart from pop culture, you are keen on charity. When did you first start thinking about collaborating with charities and how has that impacted you as a designer?

My family has been very philanthropic and has raised me to be so as well. I believe people should always give back if they can. Social media these days can play a large role in helping raise awareness, so when I realized that I had a small social media platform, I decided to try and use it to help. Since charitable endeavours are important to me, It is great that I can tie it into my main job.

Which local animal rescue charities in Los Angeles have you donated the proceeds to?

In 2016 I created a small line called Puppy Luv. All of the items were dog or cat related. 100% of the proceeds went to the LA rescue Love Leo. Whitney Cummings, Alexandra Daddario, Kesha, the cast of Scandal, and many more Instagram’ed pictures of themselves wearing Puppy Luv to help sales. I continue to volunteer weekly with A Purposeful Rescue and The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. Recently, I helped Nina Dobrev rescue her dog through my rescue Instagram account, PuppyLuvLA.

What made you pick Stella and Bow as the name of your jewellery line?

While coming up with our company name, we wanted to choose something that we loved so that we would never get sick of it. My former business partner and I decided to name the company after our dogs, Stella and Bow. Bow is an almost 13-year-old toy poodle who is named after bows and David Bowie, two things I love!

What have you learned from working on your own jewellery company?

I have learned sO many things, and I continue to do so on a daily basis. Having started this business from the ground up, and making mistakes along the way, I have had to learn to manage all aspects of the company, whether I like it or not! Being organized and having people who truly understand the style and voice of the brand have been two things that are really important. I have two phrases that I constantly use that summarize what I have learned during this process: “You get what you pay for” and “Time is money”.

Now that you've made a name for yourself as a jeweller who creates jewellery for the girl on a budget, what are your secrets to keeping your jewellery affordable without sacrificing the quality?

To be honest, I just don’t overcharge people. For the costume line, I wanted to bring well-made and genuine materials to the mid to lower price point. Knowing what I know regarding how much things really cost to make and how much designers inflate their prices while not using great materials is mind blowing.

For the Fine line, I wanted to do every day pretty jewellery you can dress up or down, but have it be budget-friendly prices. The point of both lines is to be able to wear one item alone or to stack multiple items together and have them match and tell a story. You can build on your collection as time goes by.

Speaking of your latest collection, it's highly inspired by architecture. Why do you look to architects and how did their approach to design challenge you?

Each collection I do has a theme, and each piece is named after something within that theme.

I love to continue learning and always find myself researching various topics, which makes each collection its own learning experience. With this collection, Modern, I was inspired by architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, IM Pei, Zaha Haidd, Frank Gehry, and many more. I love the repetitive patterns in some of the works by these architects and also by the angles and shapes of their buildings.

Which pieces from the collection do you prefer the most and how will you style it?

I love the Lautner hoop earrings because you can wear them three different ways. I wear one ear with the small hoop and then the other ear with the full look. I can also just wear the small hoops alone, or with the two added loops.

The Charles choker is a great gold-filled staple. You can wear it as a choker or use the extender and wear it more as a regular necklace in length. The design is pretty and detailed so it is more than just a plain boring choker. I usually wear this alone or with a longer necklace. This necklace is also hypoallergenic and can be worn in the shower.

The Rohe gold filled stacking rings are great because you can wear a few stacked on one finger, one with some other rings for variety, or one on each finger. The sizes range from pinky ring, midi ring, regular sizes, and thumb ring. You can also wash your hands while wearing these.

Lastly, what are the top five things on your bucket list that nobody knows about?

1. I would like to design jewels for a designer’s fashion show during fashion month

2. Design a line of chemical-free, eco-friendly nail polishes

3. Do a collaboration with someone who does iPhone cases or iPhone chargers, notebooks, etc.

4. Do another animal line but on a bigger scale

5. Do more exotic traveling for inspiration