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elizabeth yarborough

OF yarbie

Elizabeth Yarborough had a path—or so she thought. She earned a masters degree in writing and, following that, was lucky/talented enough to land a coveted job in book publishing. “I thought I was doing my dream, and then I realized that the corporate world was just so stifling to me,” she explains. “I had a sort of creative job, but it didn’t satisfy me at all. I was so starved creatively.”

What could have been a quarter life crisis led her, instead, to fall into her new career almost immediately. “I spent a month wondering and wondering what to do. Then one day I woke up and took myself to the jewelry district in New York and bought all these supplies. I already knew on that very first day that I was going to turn it into a business. I couldn’t sleep for three full nights. It was the weirdest experience of my life,” Elizabeth recalls.

The evolution of her line, which launched in 2006, happened just as naturally. Orders from Opening Ceremony and Colette came quickly, and, though she started out drawing heavily from upholstery materials—having visited many trimming stores in North Carolina with her mom, an antiques collector, when she was growing up—her bold, fuzzy yarn-wrapped bangles just took. “I kept coming back to them. I knew I had to use yarn in some way—I had been knitting since I was a little girl and have always been absolutely dazzled at the variety of colors and textures of yarn,” she explains. Running out of concepts and combinations is a non-issue, she says. There’s only one hold-up: She can only wear so many at once.


Behind The Scenes

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    Elizabeth Yarborough Wears Our Bangle Like a Pro It probably helps that she piles on up to ten of these guys a day.According to Elizabeth Yarborough, it’s possible to develop a bangle problem, wherein you want to stack on so many bracelets at once that you run out of arm room (and possibly lose interest in owning long-sleeve shirts). Of course, the version she made for us—incorporating rich black cashmere, earthy brown tweed, and tomato-red angora—can also be worn all by itself to great effect, too. Here, she shows us how it’s done. T... READ MORE »
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    Elizabeth Yarborough Hits the Books The designer’s paperback collection looks as good as it reads.Before Elizabeth Yarborough took up full-time jewelry making, she worked in publishing in NYC and, no surprise, has stacks and stacks of books threatening to overtake her San Francisco apartment. Though we’ve all been told it’s the insides that count, Elizabeth has a soft spot for killer covers, too, and these are works that she thinks deliver a one-two punch. “These are a few of my favorite vintage paperbacks. As much as I ... READ MORE »
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    Elizabeth Yarborough Takes Us on a Color Tour of SF One of her biggest inspirations: the flashes of mystifying hues she encounters every day.Elizabeth Yarborough, the woman behind the woven-yarn bangles of Yarbie, thinks that color is, well, nothing short of magical. “I’m all about the interplay of colors and how emotionally we connect to that. And that never gets old to me,” the charming San Francisco dweller with a Southern drawl explains. “I’ve been doing this now for years, and colors never fail to dazzle me every single day.” Bonus: ... READ MORE »