Member Spotlight: Eliza Kapitan

July 13, 2016/ by Madeline Taggart

Love Eliza is the ‘deliciously whimsical’ brainchild of Eliza Kapitan, member of The Yard: Flatiron North. She does it all for the love of the craft. Her mission is to give you the most adorable, playful, and cosmopolitan statement pieces that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Q: Could you tell us about your background and how you got your start in the jewelry industry?

I went to school for studio art, focusing on traditional fine art media and mixed media. I work on the commercial side for a watch company during the day. That’s been great, and I love it, but I design everything by computer so it’s nice to get back to traditional hand work. I still paint, and I started making my own jewelry in 2014. I just wanted to start creating things, so I started making pieces for myself and for my friends.

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Love Eliza by Eliza Kapitan, member of The Yard: Flatiron North

Q: How is your routine at The Yard different from those of other coworkers and entrepreneurs?

I am a Creative Director for a watch company during the week, so I work at The Yard after work and on the weekends. It’s easy to keep this work very separate from my day job because it’s a physically separate space. I typically get here around 7pm and work for about an hour or two. I live nearby, so it works out well. It’s my space where I can just work and be creative, and I absolutely love it. This isn’t a plug at all – I just love it! I can always focus, and it’s my little creative hideaway.

Q: Tell me about your feature in The Real Housewives of New York and how you took advantage of your social media surge.

I started making jewelry for my friends, and I made a piece for one friend whose aunt is Countess Luann de Lesseps on the show. She asked me to make her a necklace! Each wine necklace probably takes me eight hours to make from start to finish.

I made Luann three necklaces, and two were featured on the show. Before the show aired, the necklace was tweeted and people started reaching out, so I built a shop on Etsy to take advantage of the surge of interest I was having. I sold a little bit, but the real interest came after the show aired and the necklace was mentioned. It was called ‘The Drinking Necklace’. Luann credited me, and I was so grateful for that.

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Eliza Kapitan wearing “The Drinking Necklace” as featured by Luann de Lesseps on The Real Housewives of New York

I scoured twitter, searching for hashtags from people looking for the necklace after the show aired. I had so many orders that I was making them even while I was away on a cruise. The Daily Mail picked up the story along with various online news sites, and even more orders came in. It was one of Bravo’s memes at one point, which helped to direct even more interest to my page.

Twitter is more about quick news, so I made sure to use the ‘RHONY’ hash tag and to create my own hash tag #thedrinkingnecklace to draw more people to my account. I found the most success on Twitter because it’s much easier to search through hashtags. I have one customer who isn’t on any social media, so I don’t know how she found me!

Q: What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new collection for the fall which is inspired by walks I take with my dog in Madison Square Park. It’s mostly necklaces, and all of it is based off of my inspiration board. The color palette is directly based on what I have found in the park. The piece I just finished has mouse skulls on Howlite, because my dog is a hunter, and another is a hamburger on quartz.

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Love Eliza by Eliza Kapitan, member of The Yard: Flatiron North

Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned through social media along the way?

Something I didn’t do in the beginning that I now find to be really important is build relationships with my customers. They are never going to know what I am doing next if I don’t build that relationship, so I recently developed an email list and was very surprised at what great feedback I got! Everyone is interested in what’s next and they want to be the first to know. Now I always reach out!

Special thanks to Eliza for sharing the vibrant history of Love Eliza with us! To see more of her beautiful work, check out her instagram.