I first came across mother and daughter design team Eva and Elizabeth Shaw, who studied Art History and Gemology respectively, at this past Spring ’15 New York fashion week, at an event on the Hotel Empire rooftop. The jewelry, which I got to learn more about later, was completely eye catching and their commitment to the empowerment of women who had none was gripping. They were perfect for the fashion forward, sartorial set of readers who browse the fashion articles of Miss A and so it was only right that those readers be introduced or perhaps even reacquainted with their product as well as their charitable efforts.
On Wednesday nights, wine tastings are held at the ladies’ Soho location, so sitting down with a generous amount of red wine in my hand, directly across from Eva and Elizabeth with the white wine in theirs’, I asked about how the event came about. “Everybody…loves a glass of wine.” Was one of the first answers I received in what would become a lighthearted conversation with a blend of input from both mother and daughter, followed by an enjoyable evening featuring the company of a surprise Texan in the form of Elizabeth’s boyfriend, and an enthusiastic regular customer accompanied by her adorable little dog.
The ultimate reasoning for keeping the posh little jewelry shop open after hours while serving wine from City Winery, and an impressive selection of snacks, was to create exactly the sort of experience that I had. While not all custumers will shop in the store, as they can purchase ESD jewelry online wherever they may be, those who can are in for a night of fun. It’s a low pressure situation where you can try on all sorts of jewelry and it also gives customers a chance to have both Eva and Elizabeth available to them and to be more available themselves since many people stopping by may have a long list of errands to get to.
The conversation quickly turned to fashion week, and any news that may have arisen from it; news that no one else had gotten just yet. I was told that the line would be going through a “slight rebranding”, internal changes would be coming up (as far as additional partners), and that the design team would be working on clothing collaborations that we may be seeing by fashion week in February. Currently, they’ve collaborated with another New York based accessory haven, PLOOSH, on a vegan leather handbag with a fun and unexpected twist.
Though it isn’t at the forefront of any mission statement, PLOOSH also makes socially responsible efforts, and with this glaring connection it was time to ask about their commitment to giving back; why did they feel it was it so important as a part of Eva Shaw Designs? “We just did” was the answer I got from Eva without hesitation. For her as well as Elizabeth a look flashed across their smiling faces that showed the genuine nature of the statement; truly the answer was why not. The charity that has reaped the benefit of this selfless attitude is the Global Fund for Widows. Eva Shaw Designs black diamond collection was created especially to benefit Global Fund for Widows, with 10% of sales going toward it, and then being matched by the Shaws at the end of the year. The charity empowers women who are underserved, through social contracting and the provision of micro loans, and a new line to benefit Global Fund for Widows is currently in the works.
The direction Eva and Elizabeth Shaw are taking with their business is unmistakably due to the unique work situation of being a mother and daughter team. They list having someone to bounce ideas off of, and the intimacy and honesty that come with their familial bond as advantages to working the way that they do. As you may have guessed, Eva introduced Elizabeth to the craft at a young age, and a shared passion that grew over the years has blossomed into a notable business and brand, focused on female empowerment as well as community involvement.