Born in Cleveland, Ohio to a lawyer father and a mother nurse, Lara began her creative career at the tender age of 5. She would get into her mother's sewing kits and find items to put together to make jewelry. Her first design was a bracelet made from yarn and buttons. Lara was fascinated with putting together materials and colors that contrasted each other. Throughout her formative years, Lara had a fascination with taking necklaces and bracelets apart, laying them out and redesigning them to create pieces of art. Grandma Hillís jewelry box was a great source of inspiration and she would always get into trouble for wanting to take the jewelry home. When Grandma Hillís twin sister Vee died, Lara inherited all her jewelry, and the rest is history. No matter what direction Laraís life has moved in, jewelry has always been a source of inspiration and release. It has been her creative outlet to express her vision.
Lara's jewelry design career has taken a roundabout path. She received a degree in Marketing and Advertising from Arizona State University. She then pursued a career in the music industry. Her first job was in the music department at Creative Artist Agency, followed shortly with a job hosting and directing a radio show called Subterranean Soundwaves on KCRW. From there, she was offered a position at Elektra Records, where she worked for 5 years as the Director of Artist and Repertoire, signing bands and making records with bands and their producers. Laraís music career path reached a zenith when she was presented with the prestigious platinum album from her very first band signing, which hangs in her design studio today. The intensity of this industry took her away from her creative desires, so she decided to take a break from the music business and return to her first love: jewelry.
A new level of achievement began when she started teaching jewelry design to mentally challenged children. It was there that Lara was finally able to spread the happiness and joy that jewelry had been giving her since childhood. Now she could finally feed her artistic prowess. From there, Lara went back to school; she attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California to study graphic design. Jewelry design went hand-in-hand with her Graphic Design studies. It was while she attended the Art Center that a boutique on Sunset Boulevard discovered her unique jewelry designs, and purchased a variety of her pieces. Within 6 months, Lara's line was carried in numerous stores such as Fred Segal among several other Beverly Hills boutiques. By this point, her business and jewelry line DESIGNS BY LARA NOEL HILL was exploding, so she made the decision to leave school to pursue her business full time. Amazingly, Lara never thought she would be able to design jewelry for a living. Now, she lives her dream every day.
What is most exciting about Lara Noel Hill's designs is that each piece is one-of-kind and has a story behind it: She looks for clues to give every piece its full value. What are the mysteries surrounding each piece? Who wore it? Where did they wear it? What did they wear it with? These are questions we cannot really answer. But, now Lara has given every antique piece (dress clips, fur clips, brooches, shoes clips, earring parts, necklace parts, bracelet parts and vintage beads) a new place in history. All of Lara Noel Hill's jewelry designs are works of art that bring out the individual's personality. In a world that can be so impersonal, where everyone looks alike, we all strive for that little extra something to make us stand out in a crowd. Lara's designs are that statement of individuality. Each of her handmade pieces are a collectorís item, which will increase in value over time. Lara Noel Hill names and assigns them with identification numbers and includes "Handle with Care" instructions. The jewelry comes packaged with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Lara.
Lara's creativity adds glamour to daily life. Her pieces are a modern reflection of what the early costume jewelry designers visualized, and the creativity and uniqueness that they displayed. A few of Laraís favorite jewelry designers from the early 1920ís through 1960ís are Weiss, Miriam Haskell, Kramer, Eisenberg and Boucher. These artists made fine jewelry affordable, a luxury that was previously reserved for the wealthy.
Since Lara's design influence began with her grandmother, the examples Grandma Hill set daily helped guide Lara to her unique style today. Her grandma was always in a dress complemented by costume jewelry including pins, necklaces and clip-on earrings. When Lara visited her, pants were never an option, even when she was relaxing around the house watching television or cleaning fabulous antique silver tea sets!
Lara has always felt a certain kinship with the early 1900s. Other influences came from the glamorous Hollywood elite like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Greer Garson and Elizabeth Taylor. Being an old movie buff, Lara had a fascination with the well-coifed look of the classic film stars. There was something about the way they looked in black and white, so perfect and chic. Black and white film makes it difficult to distinguish which exact gems the stars wore, but Lara imagined what their jewelry would look like in living color. The old Hollywood film stars were feminine and beautiful, and wore the most enigmatic jewelry of their time. The early Hollywood actresses have inspired Lara's imagination to recreate the same glamour for todayís women.