After 3 nights, 2 days, and 18 meetings with editors and stylists in New York City I took a deep breath, surveyed the damage (two blisters – survival rate high), and tried to soak in as much inspiration and positive energy as I could before boarding my flight back home to Boston. It was a whirlwind of a trip, filled with invigorating moments that left me even more motivated to continue the hustle.
Cris Pearlstein Jewelry maven and editor extraordinaire, fan of crisp bacon, and a quick thinker who can wear any shade of lipstick and always look flawless – otherwise known as a unicorn.
Lacey Bates Owner of LWB Public Relations, accessories addict, emoji guru, former Miss Massachusetts USA, and a varsity level sweetheart with a keen eye for fashion and impeccable personal style.
April Soderstrom Cheese enthusiast, list maker and sticky note user, jewelry designer and all around art addict who eats more for breakfast than your average blonde.
Backstory- Lacey and I met in an elevator while we were both competing for Miss Massachusetts USA and after she won we became close friends. Shortly after, she started her public relations firm (LWBPR)and I started my jewelry company and I’ve been so lucky to work with her since. It doesn’t hurt that we both enjoy a healthy serving of anything that sparkles, beach vacations, candy corn, and wine. Being that this was our second press trip to the city we’ve come a long way from trip one. This time around Lacey brought Cris Pearlstein, longtime Fashion Market Director at REDBOOK magazine who recently moved just around the corner from Lacey. Cris hustled the three of us around the city with the ease and smarts that only a long time New Yorker could possess. We booked meetings by building spending solid blocks of time riding the elevators at Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time Warner. I hope this doesn’t ruin the façade for you but – spoiler alert – everyone was incredibly nice, personable and not a bit Devil Wears Prada-esque.
Planning – We have to set up the jewelry in a matter of minutes and then pack everything up between meetings – rinse and repeat. Doing this 18 times means proper packing planning was key!
Teen Vogue – Many of the magazines hold the desk-side meetings right in their elevator lobbies. Walk in, set up your wares, and let the show begin!
O Magazine – Just a photo of me…taking a selfie with a photo of Oprah…taking a selfie.
This necklace gives me a warm fuzzy every time I make a new one. You know…that soft, smushy feeling that comes whenever you pet a puppy, stop and smell the roses, or eat an entire pizza (just me?). Anywho, this necklace is a great GREAT gift for anyone you want to make smile (one of those great big, my face hurts but I can’t stop smiles). The good vibes behind the “Luck & Love Necklace” start with the itty bitty heart up the left side of the necklace over your heart. A little extra love never hurt anyone, amirite!? Then comes the fun part where you select 3 charms for the personalized pendant. Add in some extra luck with a fortune cookie, four leaf clover, or wishbone. Believe it or not, the elephant is a sign of good luck, and who doesn’t love a mini elephant, so that’s an option as well. Mix in a monogram initial tag (or two or all three!) with kids initials, your new wifey’s initial, etc. A beautiful Hamsa symbol and cross are in the lineup as well.
Guess what? Comes in silver too! WIN WIN
You deserve a little extra Luck and Love in your life too, so go ahead and design one for yourself – I did!
This has been high on the “To Do” list for a while and I’m jazzed to finally have a line of bracelets specifically designed for you to design your own stack and create your own personal “Arm Party.” I personally keep a giant bowl of bracelets on my dressing room table to mix and match on a daily basis and I’m psyched to have the Arm Party Collection up for sale! The beauty of getting to pick out your own stack is that you can add in newbies whenever you want to freshen up the look or add in a pop of color depending on the season.
Here’s the run down…pick out your custom stack of bracelets from the Arm Party category online and add them all to your cart. During checkout use the coupons below for great discounts based on how much wrist gear you stocked up on – details below. You’ll be stacking on more in no time (more is more, so don’t be shy) and don’t forget to tag @aprilsoderstrom on Instagram showing of your own expertly styled wrist gear.
15% off Arm Party purchases of $100+ (code: ArmParty100) 25% off Arm Party Purchases of $200+ (code: ArmParty200)
It was an a trying year for the Miss USA pageant. After Donald Trump surrounded the pageant in controversy (surprise surprise…) I was so proud to watch the state titleholders and pageant community come together to make it clear with Miss USA stands for. My squad of states this year included Miss Massachusetts, Miss New Hampshire, Miss Maine, Miss California, and Miss Georgia.
Fun fact! The Miss USA 2015 winner, Olivia Jordan from Oklahoma, was Miss United States World back in 2013 and competed for Miss World in custom April Soderstrom earrings. Congrats Olivia!
We’ve been working on some super easy to style necklaces that are built in sets and geeked to release the first two styles in the new Layer Up Collection. The genius of the collection is once you buy a few sets you can style them together or separate and they quickly become your new accessorizing BFFs. I’m showing off the Tex Duo and the Geo Duo which are the first to hit the website in the Layer Up Collection.14k Gold Filled high quality materials these glittering beauties so they’ll stand the test of time all while giving your décolletage something to brag about.
After pulling an all nighter in college, one of my professors told me the parable about the wood choppers…insert college April eye roll. This story has stuck with me and actually has become one of the ways I keep myself from burning out.
One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, nonstop all day long. The other man had lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But you didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman, “I was sharpening my ax every time I sat down to rest.”
Moral of the story – sharpen your ax…orrrr in my case, take time to work on a personal project every now and then. It might not even be a piece of jewelry, but another art project entirely, a quilt, painting, or sculpture that I want to do just because. Whenever I hit a wall creatively I plant myself down and spend some time on a passion project.
The Crown was a long time in the making. Many of my custom pageant and bridal clients jokingly referred to me as the “Bling Queen.” Wheels started turning and I decided creating a crown seemed like a challenging project where I could really show off my design chops. After contacting numerous metal shops with my prototype drawing and not receiving any responses (apparently not too metal specialists get requests for crowns?!) I finally convinced a company in Indiana that I was serious.
I used Photoshop to create a scaled mock up of the crown and stones so I could better visualize the direction I wanted to head. Some of the Swarovski colors I wanted weren’t readily available so I hired a Swarovksi specialist I work with regularly to source some of the harder to find glacier coated stones. For a few weeks I worked an hour or two at a time gluing stones and then letting it cure. Since the crown is a rounded surface I could only bling out a small area at a time or they would slide right down the sides. This was BEYOND a test of my patience, but the final result is a crown using thousands of Swarovski crystals in 20+ colors thats sparkle is practically seizure inducing. I have to be careful where I put it in my studio because if the light from outside hits it just right the whole place gets covered in rainbows…no complaints on that either.
My parents have had their fair share of calls from their artsy daughter that usually start with, “So I have this idea….” After showing the finished crown to my Mom she laughs and says, “April who is ever going to buy that!?”
Back in October 2014 I was inducted into the Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame. WHAT!?!??! Still sounds funny typing that. Having grown up in Rockford, I couldn’t have been more surprised and honored to find out that my past teachers had been tracking my jewelry company and were the ones behind the scenes pushing for my induction.
It’s been over 10 years since I graduated and the sense of déjà vu when I made my drive to school that Friday morning was overwhelming. Walking up to the front door I felt like it was my first day of high school all over again. Dry mouth, sweaty palms, and a sense of dread that I had chosen the wrong outfit…but the moment I walked in the door there was a smiling staff member waiting to greet me. I spent the day talking with students, about my days as an RHS art student, my current design process, and sharing some things I’ve learned since graduation.
Saturday night was the big ceremony and dinner at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. The group I had the pleasure of being inducted with was a lineup of scientists, philanthropists, and long time educators – a humbling group of individuals to say the least! I went back and forth on what exactly I wanted to say after accepting the award, and while I didn’t get a chance to say everything here’s a little excerpt:
“First, I need to apologize to my parents…I’m sorry that every paintbrush you ever owned was ruined by my little hands. I’d like to confess that there is a nail polish stain on the carpet under my bed from an art project gone wrong. I’m sorry for painting on my walls and when I ran out of room painting on the hallway walls as well. Please forgive me for breaking the sewing machine over and over again. And more importantly – THANK YOU…for understanding at a young age that I needed 3 types of scissors, the 120 box of crayons because life without Burnt Siennaand Jungle Green would simply be drab. Thank you for encouraging me to build, create, and make messes…ohh and almost forgot, thank you for the glitter.”
I flew back to Boston that Sunday with a happy heart and mind full of inspiration. Thankful for this wonderful weekend and everyone involved in it.
It was such a pleasure of working with so many girls vying for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA 2015. Four out of the top five Miss contestants were decked out in my custom pageant bling and I felt like a proud mama sitting in the audience cheering for them all. This bevy of beauties was one of my favorite photos from the event and this trio does a pretty stand up job making my jewelry look good.
Congrats to all of the ladies who competed this year!
I’ve had far too much fun working with all of the women competing for various Miss USA state pageants this season. Not too long ago I had the crazy idea (or was it a triple dog dare after a few glasses of wine!?) to compete in the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant. My friend and writer for the Improper Bostonian chronicled the crazy journey in an article titled, “My Fair Lady.”
I didn’t take home the crown, but have more than a handful of reasons it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.