ETCH Studio, a Baton Rouge-based jewelry company started last summer when Zoe Ganch received a pair of geometric laser cut earrings and a necklace from her best friend Mallory Estopinal. The two girls, who currently study architecture at LSU, became increasingly interested in product design, graphic design, and jewelry design. With the discovery of Instagram shop communities, the girls decided to test out their initial designs, and ETCH was born.
The girls operated their business on Instagram for six months, growing their brand until the launch of their official website this month (www.shopetch.com) along with their new fall Terra collection.
“Our new collection is inspired by mythology,” Zoe said. “We named the collection ‘terra’ because it represents the goddess of the earth.”
The primary materials for the fall collection are leather and wood, both earth materials with natural vibes in the design, she said.
“We were so excited to get our hands on some leather for the new collection, as it offers a whole new style that were were able to explore.” Zoe said.
The girls agreed that studying architecture has helped them fine tune their personal style and design aesthetic. They like to pull the clean lines and simple geometry from their architectural design education and apply that to their jewelry.
“To us, design is design,” Zoe said. “Whether someone has an eye for graphics or building design, there’s always a way to translate that vision onto another product or idea.”
While both girls have certain roles in the day-to-day business, Zoe and Mallory both enjoy taking the time to sit down and collaborate on ideas for designs.
The design process begins with working together to create a wide variety of designs, then they pick a few that they’re drawn to. Once the design is finalized, it’s drawn out digitally into a design drawing software called Autocad.
“We use this software quite often in our architecture education, and it’s a widely used program in the architecture profession,” Zoe said. “From Autocad, we can plot the design onto the laser cutter–just like sending a document to a printer.”
The final product is cut from high-quality hardwoods–usually maple, walnut, and lacewood– and leather. After the pieces are laser cut, Zoe and Mallory hand paint and assemble them.
They also design and laser cut all their business cards and earring backs.
“We like to have a hand in all of our final products that we send to our customers,” Zoe said. “We think it makes it a little more personal and allows us to really make use of the laser cutter technology!”
ETCH is sold exclusively online and at Mod Salon in Baton Rouge.
See the new fall Terra lookbook here — all photos by Katie Hope.
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