Local artisan Larissa Loden, owner, founder, head designer and CEO of Larissa Loden Jewelry, creates jewelry and accessories that are fun, unique and affordable. With 11 people on staff and 15 contractors, Loden creates a range of designs. “It’s elegant and edgy and also minimalist,” she says.
Loden creates with the eye of an artist. She began making jewelry at the encouragement of an art teacher when she graduated from high school. In college, Loden majored in art education. She taught in the Minneapolis public schools for eight years. During her teaching career, she made jewelry part-time. “[The jewelry business] kept growing and growing, so I started doing it full-time,” says Loden.
“I’m mainly self-taught as jewelry-designer, but I’m a true artsy person,” says Loden. She took sculpture classes as a student, and also worked in a bead shop. “As a transplant to the area, I had to do the Minnesotan thing and go to the Mall of America. I saw there was a job opening at a bead shop and I started working there,” she says. Loden says she loves working with unconventional materials like dalmatian jasper. “It’s a cream-based stone with black polka-dots—it looks like a dalmatian. You don’t see a lot of it. It’s my mission to get as much of it as possible out into the world. It’s very neutral, but it’s very playful,” says Loden. She works with gold, silver and brass, and a variety of stones. “We get gemstones custom cut for us, and we don’t get them polished. We kept them matte—I like their raw, natural beauty,” says Loden.
Her style is versatile and accessible. “I create with a wide demographic in mind, but especially for the trying-to-do-it-all woman, who’s trying to make it work with kids and [a career], who loves style and fashion, but doesn’t have two hours to get fussed-up every morning,” says Loden.
A transplant from upstate New York, Loden says she loves Minnesota, and credits her surroundings for much of her inspiration. “There’s something so serene and beautiful about being on the lake, and the connections to nature. That’s why we have such great visionaries in Minnesota—entrepreneurs, artists. I love that. It’s our best-kept secret,” she says.
Loden lives in Shoreview on Lake Owasso with her Minnesota-born husband Aaron, their 1-year-old daughter and their two pugs—Jerome and Morris. The main thing Loden misses about New York? The pizza. “But White Bear Lake has a place where the pizza is close to New York-style,” she says.
Loden’s jewelry can be found online and locally at Good Things and White Bear Center for the Arts. It is also sold in 600 stores nationwide. Her studio, located in the Northrup King building in Northeast Minneapolis, is open to the public.
Larissa Loden Jewelry
1500 Jackson Street NE #265
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday