Carrie Cramer

Stylist & Jewelry DesignerManhattan BeachPhoto & Story by Lauri Levenfeld

At first it was all the glitter, bling and bedazzlement that caught my eye. Stylist Carrie Cramer’s sense of creativity and experiment has no bounds. A true artist by nature, what is even more interesting about Cramer is her found perspective and personal understanding that just doing art would not make

her happy, she also wanted to make money doing it. Cramer, a split of right and left brain, with an entrepreneur soul, set out to find opportunity in making art a business. With a successful career notch under her styling belt, Carrie has launched her latest endeavor- one that started with her four-legged muse.

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1. What were you like as a child? Who are you today?

As I child I was completely into Barbies: dressing them up, making outfits for them and cutting their hair. I was interested in fashion at an early age, but mostly into anything that had sparkles, sequins, or glitter. I would set outfits out and take pictures of them, but I would “chicken out” and not wear them to school. I think I was always more interested in putting the outfits together than actually wearing them. I won the sewing award in junior high, and I had a puff painting T-shirt business in high school. I guess I was always creative, but with a business mind behind that creativity.

I would say the same qualities remain with me today. I am still obsessed with anything that sparkles or a hologram pattern in it. The fabrics now are so futuristic and fun to wear. I would dress like I lived on a space ship everyday if I could. I enjoy styling people and working on TV shows and photo shoots, but designing jewelry makes me feel complete. I love how people react to my necklaces; it makes me very happy to see them get so excited.


2. Describe your life’s work

My life’s work has always been based around art, fashion and business. I am an artist, but I always had to make money – both to survive and because I needed to base the kind of art I do around that. As much as I enjoyed oil painting and welding, I put those skills aside when I started working in TV. For the past 20 years I dedicated myself to making other people look special and shine. Now I am trying to focus back around to myself. This way I can enjoy combining my styling and fine art, which I feel is reflected in my jewelry.


3. When did you adopt Atticus? What has he brought to your life?

I actually did not adopt Atticus. I had an ex-boyfriend who decided it was a good time to buy us a dog, and then we broke up three weeks later. I kept Atticus. He came from a “backyard breeder,” a family with two schnauzers that had puppies, and we got one of them. I drove home with him in my lap, and he hasn’t left it since that day.

My jewelry line was inspired by Atticus. I had been back from my

honeymoon for a month and had been toying with the idea of starting a jewelry line. I came home from a workout, sat down and looked up at these two paintings we have on our wall. They are graphic, bright silhouettes of a schnauzer and a frenchie; the idea just came to me and I decided I wanted to make necklaces that looked like that. I had a sample made the next week of a schnauzer, began wearing it and immediately started getting compliments. I then decided to make it into a business doing all kinds of different animals,  it all happened pretty fast.


4. In addition to jewels, you have dressed some really fun people. Tell us more.

I have dressed some super-fun and interesting people! I was working on a ton of MTV shows straight out of college and going between set design and costume design. At that time being a stylist wasn’t popular. I was told by an acquaintance at the time (who is now a really big director, McG,) that I should look into styling as a career. That was some of the best advice I ever received, so I looked into it and started hustling to acquire freelance jobs.

I was doing a lot of reality TV and was hired as a wardrobe stylist on The Bachelor. At 28 I was working on the biggest reality show, which jump-started my career. From there I branched off and did many similar shows, the most fun being Flavor of Love. I designed clothes for “Flavor Flav” and made all his clocks to match his outfits! I designed suits for him; hand painted his clothes and got to bedazzle everything. The producers gave me so much creative freedom!

I also have styled so many fun Disney/ABC photo shoots over the past 15 years. I love dressing younger girls; you can have so much fun with their looks. I did the Camp Rock promos and last year did the Blackish promos, which was great fun working with the executives to create those looks.

I have been designing for Daniel Tosh for the past eight years, designing costumes daily for whatever skits the writers dreamed up. I usually had only a few hours to put these looks together. He is a good friend and very open to really fun and funny costumes.

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5. How do you define love?

I think the first part of love is really finding it in yourself. I didn’t meet my husband until I was almost 41. I worked many years, built my career and dated. I needed to take some time to get to know myself and learn to like whom I was.  Shortly before I met my husband, I became comfortable being alone and happy and content with myself. Atticus really helped me with that, as he is the most confidant mammal I know. He walks into a room, assuming everyone loves him and wants to pet him. He’s not pompous about it, he just knows it. If you learn to love yourself and have that kind of confidence, you are unstoppable.


6. Describe a day in the life for you.

My days are all random, especially while working on a comedy show. When I am shooting, I am scrambling to find costumes or construct them. It must be done in a short period of time to meet deadlines, so I am constantly scrambling. Days I am not shopping or shooting for a show, I love to spin. I try to do it three days a week and it totally grounds me. The rest of the day I am really clear-headed and can concentrate on my jewelry and my husband. I moved in with him to the beach when we got engaged, so my life revolves around more outdoor

activities. Atticus couldn’t be happier as he goes on long walks by the beach and has a “dad” now.


7. What has been your biggest curve ball? Your biggest surprise?

The biggest curve ball was how stressful starting a small business was. It’s totally different from TV production – no one really helps you or freely gives you information. I had to adjust to numerous changes and a way of thinking. I did hours of research into jewelers, the price of gold and diamonds, and learning who you can trust. I learned a lot in a very short period of time, but it was very stressful and I didn’t sleep a lot.

The biggest surprise for me was how easily everything came together in a short period of time. That led me to believe I was on the right path and doing the right thing by starting this line.


8. Who are your style icons?

I love Elizabeth Taylor – my mom and I both adore her. Her love of jewelry and fashion is inspiring and her beauty is beyond compare!

Grace Jones is also one of my favorites with her unique style and creativity. That woman looks amazing in anything she drapes herself in or however she paints her face.

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9. Name five items that are fashion must-haves for Fall.

1. Slip dress

2. Super cute tennis shoes

3. Bright handbag

4. Metallic sunglasses

5. Midi skirt

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself growing my jewelry company into a more diverse brand with many more designs. I think I can integrate that with my wardrobe styling to compliment them, either with private clients or designing for a sparkling, fun TV show.

I have lived in the heart of Los Angeles for 25 years and I am ready for a less chaotic and more peaceful environment. I hope to stay living close to the ocean, continue enjoying traveling and spending time with my husband and our schnauzer.

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