Livewell co-founders Claire O’Hare and Susan DiMarco are more than just jewelry designers and business partners— they’re also sisters! We sat down with the stylish duo to find out more about their brand and how they decided to work together.
Q. Where do you look for inspiration when you’re coming up with a new design?
SUSAN: All around me. Literally everywhere, even when I’m asleep.
CLAIRE: I look at other people — I look at how they wear things, how they show up. I look for the ingredients of a confident woman. Oh, and I look at Instagram all of the time!
Q. What do you enjoy most about the process of designing and making jewelry?
S: The process is contemplative and the result is that I get to wear it. The more I design, the more I see.
C: The process itself — from the first seed of a new idea/design to the end result — seeing a beautiful piece of our jewelry on someone and knowing they feel fabulous!
Q. Susan, how does your profession as a dentist contribute to or influence your calling as a jewelry designer?
S: I’m very comfortable using my hands and improvising with my tools. I’m not afraid to make a mess and to start over.
Q. Claire, how does your background leading sales and strategic development at powerhouse media companies impact your approach to starting the Livewell brand?
C: The same principles apply — I often say to myself “how would I approach this problem/opportunity if I was at Facebook?” And, I chant Mark Zuckerberg’s mantras in my head: “move fast and break things, proceed and be bold, fail harder and iterate to perfection.” This is the fun part of building our new collection — small companies can act like big companies and big companies can learn from small companies. The world has changed and I am seeing it live and in action.
Q. Describe your style in three words
S: Classic, unfussy and always comfortable
C: 1/3 casual, 1/3 comfortable 1/3 edgy
Q. How did you come up with the name Livewell Designs
C & S: Our motto is “live well, love more” —the name, Livewell designs, is simply a manifestation of our motto. We would like our jewelry collection to be a reflection of a life well lived.
Q. Susan, what do you like most about working with Claire? What do you rely on her for?
S: She’s a brilliant businesswoman and I trust her inherently.
Q. Claire, what do you like most about working with Susan? What do you rely on her for?
C: There is nothing like a sister. Nothing. The foundation of any new venture is grounded in trust. Sue and I start and end with trust everyday! And every day, we move our vision forward together — no egos, no noise, just a commitment to create different and beautiful jewelry. I am super impressed with Sue’s creative genius — she sees things that I do not see and is willing to try anything to see where it goes. She is not afraid to create.
Q. How did you decide to work together?
S: Claire volunteered!
C: I wanted to launch a business post-Facebook — a business that could unleash my creativity, incorporate my business background and allow me to work with people I trust. Stars aligned!
Q. Preserving the art of exquisitely handmade crafts is incredibly important to the DARA mission. What does handmade mean to you? Do you feel that the handmade aspect to your jewelry sets it apart? How so?
S: Every piece starts from scratch in wax or in metal. Each piece is mindfully crafted from beginning to end with unexpected twists and turns along the way. The pieces change as I move along in the process. That’s what handmade means to me.
C: Handmade — from the soul, with meaning, authentic.