Designers / Industry

How I Got Here: Easter Ahn on Carefully Designing a Simple Life in Jewelry


Easter Ahn believes in simplicity, something she defines in part as letting life happen moment by moment and not complicating every decision. This philosophy of embracing and then elevating the everyday has also helped her create her jewelry brand, Easter Ahn Design.

The Los Angeles–based fine jewelry brand is the culmination of Ahn’s experiences, starting with her dipping her proverbial toe into the water of jewelry-making to her decision to launch her own brand five years ago.

“With my background in 2D and 3D design, it really helped me hone my skills in understanding how every piece of jewelry is a product of art, form, and function,” Ahn says. “I need to not only design something pretty, but a piece people can wear and feel comfortable and confident in. It has helped me see that my personal experiences and views on nature, art, and fashion can all be an inspiration to how you design jewelry.”

Easter Ahn earrings
Delicate yet bold, Easter Ahn Design’s 14k gold semi-circle disc hoop with pavé bar earrings is a signature look for the designer ($990).

Born and raised in New York, Ahn made her first big move for college, going to Michigan’s Ann Arbor, where Ahn attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 2001 cum laude with a bachelor’s in fine arts and a Bachelor of Arts in industrial design, graphic design, and organizational studies.

That triple major at one of the most challenging colleges in the Midwest? Not easy, but Ahn says it was part of her plan to see what happened next and let life flow from there.

“I always loved art and design, but I didn’t want to let go of my academic side. I thought that if I studied design and it didn’t work out, I had a backup plan to work at a corporate company with my organizational studies major,” Ahn says. “I loved both aspects of 2D and 3D design and couldn’t make up my mind with what I wanted to do, so I ended up doing both in the School of Art & Design and triple majored.”

Her first “real” job was working as a product developer and graphic designer for a wholesale gift company known for their handblown glassware and home decor.

Easter Ahn rings
Delicate gold stacking rings and strong gemstone shapes are hallmarks of Ahn’s aesthetic for fine jewelry.

“I designed their glass jewelry collection, giftware products, and their graphic/marketing materials. I learned about the wholesale trade shows and how they market their products to obtain clients, and I learned different aspects of how a business was run and gained more experience in designing their marketing materials,” Ahn says.

A side hobby of making wire-wrapped jewelry soon became an obsession, Ahn says. It ended up becoming a side hustle, and Ahn started looking at adding gems and other materials. She also realized her talent with design, marketing, and art might become a permanent jewelry career. As her interest in jewelry grew, she began speaking to others in the industry and was introduced to Gemological Institute of America (GIA). There, she found that they had a scholarship program.

“I applied for the scholarship and thought, ‘If I get it, I’ll go and if I don’t, I won’t.’ Fortunately, I received my scholarship and attended soon after,” Ahn says. “While I attended GIA, I fell in love with fine jewelry. I loved learning the history and technical aspects of diamonds and the beauty of the colored stones.

Easter Ahn necklace
A fascination with gemstones is what got Ahn to branch out from her hobby of wire-wrapped jewelry into working with more precious materials. The necklace featured here is her 14k yellow gold sun mirror disc with bezel-set diamonds ($930). 

“Just learning the history of the stones helped me appreciate where they came from and is the reason why I use diamonds and colored stones in my jewelry,” Ahn says. “I also learned that using fine metals instead of silver and gold-filled metals was a more long-lasting solution to the tarnishing aspects of lower-end materials I used during my wire-wrapping days.”

After she earned her Graduate Gemologist degree, Ahn began designing fine jewelry for a jewelry manufacturing company. When she became a mother, Ahn wanted more flexibility as well as freedom to explore new ideas. Using word-of-mouth referrals, in 2014 Ahn started with a few clients to create custom designs and engagement rings.

She officially launched Easter Ahn Design in 2017 with a collection of made-to-order fine jewelry. Simple, right?

“Despite one’s stage in life, whether it be a working professional, stay-at-home mom and/or all the roles in between, I wanted to create designs for every woman that offered a balance of keeping things ‘simple’ yet highlighting the beauty of the design itself,” Ahn says. “There is always a fine line in making unique pieces that are not too busy or distracting. I want the Easter Ahn Design woman to be comfortable wearing our pieces daily, whether it be for a daily casual look or a night out on the town.”

Top: Easter Ahn has lived on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and, now, on the West Coast, blending all of those life experiences into her signatures looks: jewelry that looks clean and simple but takes great effort to make it so (photos courtesy of Easter Ahn Design). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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