Inspired by her French and Caribbean backgrounds, Cheryl Eve Acosta developed an appreciation for coastal life and high fashion, shaping the story behind her “Cycle of Life” jewelry brand. The visionary and entrepreneur continues to explore contemporary modes of body adornment reminiscent in her most recent sister brand called TATTUAGE Jewelry, reusable metal adornment that adheres to the skin.
Cheryl Eve Acosta earned her MFA in Jewelry & Metals from the Rhode Island School of Design. More recently, she received a CAD/CAM Certificate and scholarship from the Gemology Institute of America (GIA) in NYC to expand her designs and production skills.
Her fine art jewelry has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows in Seoul, Florence and Munich, and collected by public figures including former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. She published her own book called “Hidden in Nature” and has been included in numerous publications. She is currently based in Kansas City, MO creating jewelry from her studio/boutique.
Full Name: Cheryl Eve Acosta
Current Title/Company: Designer + owner of: Cheryl Eve Acosta / Sculptural Jewelry + TATTUAGE Jewelry
– Gemology Institute of America (GIA) CAD/CAM Certified – New York City, NY
– President scholar from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with an MFA in Jewelry & Metals
– Bachelors in Fine Arts, Metals & Jewelry – New Mexico State University (NMSU), Las Cruces, NM
– Entrepreneurship Scholar from the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Missouri- Kansas City (UMKC)
Congratulations, Cheryl! Please tell us, what was your first job and how did you land that position?
My work history has been an unconventional journey, which was shaped mostly by my educational background. I was eager to create my own jewelry brand while working part time in the art scene and the jewelry industry. I was blessed to be recommended by the Interim President of New Mexico State University to fill a position at their gallery. As I continued pursuing my schooling at RISD, this then opened up the doors for me to freelance for several jewelry companies.
How have your designs evolved since your first sketch?
Design is not a static word when it comes to me creating a collection. Ideas continue to morph and inform previous sketches. Movement and structure have been concepts that continue to evolve, which you will be seeing in my jewelry.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your career and how were you able to overcome them?
Time is usually my biggest challenge. I find myself wishing to have more hours a day to materialize my visions. I seek help in my community by being involved in entrepreneurial and business development programs. Finding a mentor to learn from has also assisted in helping to take my brand off the ground. I feel comfortable teaching myself the right tools to keep moving forward while also taking risks to pursue my passion.
What is your inspiration for this season’s collection?
My organic, yet modern Cheryl Eve Acosta jewelry is inspired by the “Cycle of Life,” highlighting elements of birth, growth, and fossilization of marine fauna. With the use of different metal, finishes, and colors, CICLOS collection will be introduced, known for its tumbled-like beach waves shells you find. TATTUAGE Jewelry originated from a shadow projection on the body, which later translated into metal body jewelry you adhere to the skin. The designs for this collection are inspired by world destinations.
How did you learn the ins and outs of owning and operating your brand?
I try to surround myself with people that are smarter than me and who have the skills that I lack. This has helped me acquire valuable knowledge as I aspire to become better at what I do. I was taught many jewelry skills. However, running and operating my brand has mostly been a self-taught process, and it will continue to be a learning experience.
As a business owner, how do you achieve a work/life balance?
Balance is a constant I try to prioritize in my life. However, it is challenging to achieve in the fashion industry, as it naturally is a cyclical one.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The emotional connections I have made with my clients through my jewelry have been rewarding to me. I love seeing the smiles, confidence, and conversations my designs have fostered. Inspiring others with my art is also a gift I cherish.
What is a typical workday like for you?
I usually wear many hats on a typical workday. Some tasks include email correspondence, meeting with clients, designing jewelry, fabricating at the bench, engaging with fans, or even taking a lunch break to practice yoga.
Best moment of your career so far?
Being present will always be the best moment in my career. However, looking back at some of the people I have met, such as celebrity host Mario Lopez, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, whom I made a brooch for, resonates in my memory. Currently, having my jewelry at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in conjunction with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, has also been a unique opportunity to present my art to a broader audience beyond the fashion industry.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Asking questions is ok. The desire to learn every day! Perseverance is your best friend. Dreaming big is living life. We all have a purpose in life. Hopefully, you can make it a positive one.
Go-to coffee order?
Espresso to go, please!
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and what would you order?
That’s a hard one! A few people that come to mind are Richard Branson, Iris Van Herpen, Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg and Dalai Lama. I would top my lunch with a salmon fillet over a freshly-tossed salad.
Best advice you’ve received?
Never stop believing in yourself.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Audrey Tautou or Salma Hayek.
The Nolcha Shows are a leading award-winning event, held during New York Fashion Week for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the past seven years, the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform for discovery and have promoted cutting-edge, innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions.
The team at Chic Galleria is thrilled to collaborate again with the designers featured at the Nolcha Shows, September 7 –12, 2017. We look forward to showcasing these talented designers and attending their shows this fall. — Beth Anderson, Founder and Senior Editor, Chic Galleria