Meet the Designer: Johanna Ely of Good Girls Studio

This is the second in a series of posts focusing on the featured designers in the Fall Fashion Expo, happening Nov 16, 2013, at the Durham Armory. We can’t wait to see their great creations on the runway!

Redress 2013 Spring Fashion Show; Good Girls Studio + Jamie Powell collaboration. Photo credit: Ryan Sides 

Redress 2013 Spring Fashion Show; Good Girls Studio + Jamie Powell collaboration. Photo credit: Ryan Sides 

We’ve watched Johannah Ely’s work evolve over the last five years, and we can confidently say that she constantly surprises us with new statement pieces that empower the all mighty queen within us. Ely is the owner and designer behind Good Girls Studio, a jewelry brand that produces both a ready to wear line and custom “Living Heirloom” jewelry. From flower bomb necklaces to up-styled bullets to backstabbers, Ely arms women with all the jewelry armor they could possibly need. Get to know the woman behind the retro-vintage jewelry brand, Good Girls Studio!




Redress: Describe the moment you realized you wanted to design or start your own vintage business?

Ely: I don't think it was a particular moment. Over time I got sick of the mass produced jewelry that was out there and I wanted something new and different that no one else had! Which meant I had to make it myself.

Redress: How do you hope individuals connect with your products?

Ely: All my pieces tell a story and carry a piece of history with them. I have noticed that people truly resonate with the little stories or the nostalgia of the vintage pieces I use in my designs.

Redress: What current event, music, artist, etc. is fueling your creativity and direction of your upcoming collection?

Ely: My creativity for this collection is do mostly in part to the weather. I’m loving autumn and the brisk temperatures. I think the capelets featured in this collection are not only functional but fun and fashion forward as well. They can dress up a simple long-sleeve shirt and jeans or complete a date-night look.

Redress: How do you use sustainable practices as inspiration in your work?

Ely: I like to see how much vintage pieces I can incorporate into my designs.  What can I reuse, recycle or deconstruct to make something new!?! That’s the challenge that keeps sparking my creativity.

Redress: What can we expect to see on the runway?

Ely: This is my first foray into Ready to Wear! I will be making capelets with a wink towards Superheroes… naturally the collection will include Hero inspired jewelry.

Redress: What is your go-to quote when you need to get your head back in the game?

Ely: John 8:36... when the Lord sets you free you are free indeed. It's tattooed on my wrist, my personal reminder to get out of my head and stop focusing on the negative and turn towards God and get over myself!

Redress: How do you reward yourself after a long day of work?

Ely: I'm not one to go out and party it up. After a long day of creativity I am mentally and physically drained. Curling up on the couch with my man and my son watching a good movie sounds pretty perfect to me.

Redress: What are your thoughts about the current fashion scene in the Triangle / South?

Ely: I'd like to see the Triangle embrace more fashion forward styles. I look around and all the stores seem to carry the cookie-cutter clothes and jewelry. One of the many reasons I love to shop with local designers is that are so unique!

Redress: Which of your personal idols would you like to see in your clothes and why?

Ely: Love Love Love Zooey Deschanel! She is funny and quirky and romantic, she embodies my personal style and doesn't seem to take herself too seriously.

Johanna Ely is one of the funniest individuals we know, and her sense of humor comes through in her work. It’s hard not to spend all of our money on her jewelry, and she just made it more difficult by adding caplets to her collection… we’ve got a few more weeks to save up! Looking forward to a spectacular superhero-themed runway show from the original super woman, Johanna Ely of Good Girls Studio! See it on the runway, Saturday November 16th, 6pm at The Armory in Durham NC.