September 17, 2010

Diana Warner Giveaway


I cannot tell you all how excited I am about today’s post. First of all, I had a chance to interview the fabulous Diana Warner whose jewelry has garnered international acclaim. Her designs have been featured in tons of magazines and adored by celebs from coast to coast. You’ve probably seen them on Gossip Girl too! She is a fabulous belle (from my sweet southern town!) and is as committed to giving back as she is to spreading style in the world.

diana warnerSBS: Did you always know you wanted to become a designer "when you grew up?"

DW: Yes, well I wanted to, but I just did not always think it was possible. But the dream never ever left me. Growing up I used to draw women in dresses and then draw detail boxes highlighting their accessories! I would staple all the drawings together and give them to my mom---I called them magazines…I was always making my mother magazines.

SBS: What is the best thing about being a designer?

DW: UM…. freedom to dream while you are at work. Most people feel guilty if they day dream at work…or even get in trouble. I get to dream a good bit---and use my imagination! I know this will be what keeps me young, and I know that it is what keeps me laughing.

whitneysign SBS: When you feel a little less than creative, how do you get inspired?

DW: Well. I never really force myself to design; I try to design as I go. It is like breathing for me some days and some days I have to put all my efforts other places. You know how writers tell you to write from life, when I was in art school a really amazing artist was in my studio. She told me I was a story teller, and for me making art was a simple as telling my story…So I just had to find the courage to tell my own story...and that is what I did. Sometimes my art, my designs just simply tell a story or speak of where I am in my life. Sometimes I feel like I am telling someone else’s story. Often I get inspiring letters from customers or I am lucky enough to spend time with amazing southern women, I do what I can to tell their story through my art too in a way that I think will honor them.

SBS: What is your favorite spot to get away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life?

DW: I live on the East River in New York City. It is my escape. I am in a pent house 40 floors about it all. I can look out my window or stand on my roof and see the entire NYC skyline. My home is a gift from God. It is my retreat; it feels like a vacation from it all (the hustle and bustle) every day. To me East Tennessee (my original home) is the perfect mix of city and country, and lucky for me the area just north of New York City reminds me so much of East Tennessee. So I do have dreams of having a weekend home in the country some day (north of NYC). I have made myself a goal of finding and purchasing a little cottage in the next two years, a place where I can get my hands in the soil and make a garden, and make a home. I am also very lucky to have so many friends and so much family in the south, so quite often I go to Tennessee and spend time at my parents’ Lake House, or spend nights on my good friend’s farm.

Wedding CD 1 - 0207 SBS: My friend bought a pair of your earrings to wear on her wedding day. It must be an amazing feeling to know that people want something you created to be part of their most special days! How does it feel to know that people everywhere are wearing (and loving!) your designs?

DW: You know that feeling when you have a crush, and you see them (your crush) and your stomach drops? That is how I feel. I feel embarrassed, but excited, honored and humbled, and nervous all at once! Those are little parts of me that they are wearing, and sometimes it feels vulnerable, similar to how an artist feels when they hang a painting for the world to see. However I love love love it, I have the greatest job in the world and to help people feel beautiful and express themselves is incredible. I also do feel a huge connection with my customers because I do get to be a part of the big days in their lives, it is such an honor to be there with them on those days.

dianawarner_studiob_042809_pm_28SBS: I'm really proud of my southern roots...what is your favorite thing about the south or being southern?

DW: I am proud of my southern roots too. Um…sometimes you don’t know how fabulous being southern is until you are in a place where you are all alone in your “southern-ness” like here in NYC. My favorite part about being southern is that we are all characters, somewhat freer to be ourselves than any other culture I have encountered. I think this comes from our rich history of rather eccentric people in the south. I also love that southern women are kind, hospitable, loyal and feminine--- but we are also capable of saying anything and we generally get away with it --- because we do so with a sweet southern sound and a smile. A smart southern woman knows how to use her charm for good…. it is like having a super power!

SBS: Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers?

DW: Challenge yourself to remember your dreams and try to make them a reality. Love who you are and where you are in life even when it hurts. Love well the people put in your life, they are there for a reason. Celebrate your culture (mine is southern), but remember one day you may fall in love with a Yankee, and that is okay too.

The Giveaway:

Ok loves, Diana has something else she’d like to share with you all and I’m simply blown away with her generosity. 1 lucky reader will receive a Diana Warner design, and not just any piece of jewelry…one created exclusively for this giveaway!


I’m so not kidding. This piece didn’t even exist until I contacted Diana! How fabulous is she? And one of you darlings is going to win it! Of course you’ll get your own initial charm…the “K” was just so I could swoon over it! The tag was specially stamped with all you belles in mind! Made from antique brass, gunmetal and pewter on a 16” gunmetal chain, this necklace retails for $138! And you can win it!

The Rules:

1. You must be a follower of Southern Belle Simple (via Google follower/friend connect).

2. Become a fan of (Like) Diana Warner on facebook

3. Visit Diana Warner Studio and take a look at all her lovely items.

4. Come back and leave a comment telling us about something fabulous that you found!

These 4 things count as ONE entry.

For Additional Entries (1 each):

Follow sthrnbellesimpl on twitter and Tweet about this giveaway

Follow Diana Warner on twitter and Tweet about this giveaway

Include this giveaway in a blog post and leave a comment with a link

Become a fan of (Like) Southern Belle Simple on facebook and tell me you did

Leave separate comments for each entry. The Giveaway will be open for entries until Sunday Sept. 26th at midnight. I will announce the winner Monday Sept. 27th so make sure to leave a way to contact you in case you win. Best of luck to you all!