Lauren Bott


Organic Design


Native New Orleanian Lauren Bott, founder and designer of local jewelry brand Crowe, started designing jewelry around 2011 to 2012. The self-taught designer started making jewelry because she wasn’t finding the pieces she needed for a feature film she was working on. So, she began accumulating tools to make her own pieces, hoping she could offer the designer and talent a more fine-tuned selection. Over the years, she has learned through trial and error, and a lot of research. She has also studied with numerous esteemed craftsmen and women in the industry.

“My process is very organic,” Bott says. “I design pieces that I am looking for during filming or for my everyday [wear]. I am constantly looking for new and interesting designs. Every new building or rare flower that meets my eye has most likely been formed in metal at some point.”

Bott works with 14k gold, and she also uses brass or silver to form some of her original designs. She created her first collection in honor of her father, John Crowe Wade. “My dad was a small business owner,” Bott says. “My entire life he filled my head with ideas, new start-ups and ways to gain success. He told me to find a niche in the market and to fill it. When I began making jewelry, we were in a recession, retail was down and the art of making jewelry by hand was becoming outdated. I focus on making all of my pieces, sourcing all of my materials and setting all of my stones by hand in the U.S. Retail is still not the best, but customer service will never be old news. I am a one-woman operation and pay attention to my customers and what they want.”

While Bott does not design following the traditional fashion calendar, she prefers to design when she feels inspired. In February, she opened a bricks and mortar location on Magazine Street. Occasionally, she will release a few pieces of similar feel and structure, but she does not feel compelled to design on demand. “I have close to 50 different pieces in store,” Bott says. “All of the pieces should be considered a collection. They all carry the same feminine feel, while using an organic approach to shape and size.”

Bott is currently designing a one-of-a-kind sapphire collection to be sold at the store, but she says her favorite is the Make Me a Bird necklace ($385). “I made this piece from left over evil eye pendants,” Bott says. “The actual shape was a mistake, but I found that the new combination was very aesthetically pleasing. It’s simple and easy. It goes with everything. This piece has definitely been one of my top sellers, and the feminine finishing and delicate nature of the piece has become a defining characteristic of Crowe.”

And when it comes to favorite jewelry designers, Bott has a few: Irene Neuwirth; Moritz Glik; and Stephen Webster. “Jewelry is supposed to be fun,” Bott says. “It should complete a look. These designers are recognizable and of course insanely talented.” 3903 Magazine St., (504) 507-0628, 

What staple jewelry items should every woman have in her collection? “I love to layer,” Bott says. “Starting your collection with a classic stud and simple bands to stack are a must. If you prefer more jewelry, you just take the stack higher or add more piercings. There are no limits with simplicity.”

On the local creative entrepreneurial scene in New Orleans: “As someone who has shopped in this town for the last 13 years, there has been major growth insofar as independent designers and business owners,” Bott says. “There are so many amazing boutiques and new designers, I can hardly keep up! It is a great time to be living and working in New Orleans.”

Who inspires you in your daily life? “I work with amazing creative types in the film industry as well as in the jewelry world,” she says. “My store on Magazine is located behind Pilot and Powell and next to Small Chalk — all hard-working, creative women.”

What are some of your favorite hangouts in New Orleans? “I live at Bouligny Tavern and Houston’s,” Bott says. “Literally.”