carrie cramer and atticus the schnauzer
Meet the Los Angeles-based stylist and fine jewellery designer whose collection is inspired by the pooch given to her as a gift from an ex!
Words: Simon Glazin Pictures: Carrie Cramer
On life with Atticus: Atticus makes everything more fun! We could spend hours just watching him and seeing what he gets into. Having a dog means I get to share my love with a furry, little creature that is always welcome to receive it and give it back. He’s a great regulator of my moods and is always striving to make us happy. He was a gift from an ex—we ended up breaking up three weeks later. I was left with a new home mortgage, a car payment, and a new puppy to handle on my own. Atticus helped me through that time because I had to look beyond myself and take care of him. He was only three months old.
On work: Carie Cramer Fine Jewelry started with a slow burn, then a bang! I had talked to friends about doing something, but had a very vague idea of what that looked like. Being a stylist, I had relationships with jewelers and had done a few custom pieces for clients, but nothing structured. In early January 2015, I came home from the gym one day (which I hate), and looked at these two paintings I have of a Frenchie and a Schnauzer and thought: “These images would be such cute necklaces.” Three weeks later, I had my business going and samples being made of a Frenchie and a Schunauzer.
I come up with the ideas, have my graphic designer perfect the designs, get pieces made by my jeweler, and run the day to day of the company. I answer a lot of emails with clients going back and forth on custom orders. I love seeing photos of people’s pets and helping to come up with a design that looks just like their pet.
On styling: I am a costume designer/stylist and have worked in television for the last 17 years on numerous shows. I was working on MTV shows in my early twenties when a producer hired me to work on “The Bachelor.” That show launched my career and led me to design similar shows for VH1. I wouldn’t say there was a worst job, but sometimes personalities just don’t mix, and the show must go on. I am currently designing for comedian Daniel Tosh and his show “Tosh.0” on Comedy Central. We are starting our 10th year. The crew is like family to me.
On career plan B: I never really had a plan A! I was an artist who graduated from college and needed to work. I happened to be in the right city where a new industry was being created, and I became a part of reality programming. I think this is why I am enjoying designing my own jewelry—it is totally my own thing.
'He used to sleep curled up on the pillows next to my head so we were eye level.'
On her daily routine: My day to day is always different, it just depends what jobs pop up and where I have to be. I usually try to get up around 7am, make green tea, and then my husband and I take the dog on a walk down by the beach or around our neighborhood. Because my schedule is so unpredictable, we both take care of Atticus and have lots of conversations about when we will be home, how long has he been alone, should we take him to daycare, etc. He is our furry child and we want to make sure he is happy, healthy, and loved.
On career advice: I can give loads of tips about the entertainment industry, but the jewelry industry is a completely different animal. I have had to source everything on my own and this can be challenging. It’s not easy to find companies you can count on or trust and not everyone is generous with sharing their information. I’ve been in this business for three years now and I am finally finding my footing and listening to myself. I think that is the biggest key. You can ask questions and try to gain as much insight, but when it comes down to it, it’s your company and you make the decisions. Once you can grasp that, then you can soar.
On her favourite Atticus 'tale': The first three years I had Atticus, it was just him and me. He used to sleep curled up on the pillows next to my head so we were eye level. When I met my husband, Atticus continued to sleep like that and now sleeps on Rich’s head at night. Sometimes Rich walks with him in the morning very early (too early for me), and when they come back, Atticus runs down the hall and onto the bed with me. He likes his dad for action and me for cuddles.
The best piece of advice: Don’t drive a nicer car than the people that can hire you.
On her favourite thing to do in LA: Since I live closer to the beach now, I like to shop when I’m in the city, mostly for work. I also love walking the dog by the beach at sunset.
One thing people should know about her: I laugh a lot!