Peppercotton’s Crystal Method
PHOTO BY MIKE GARTEN
For Patrick Culpepper and Aurelia Cotton, two New York natives who met at the Rhode Island School of Design, the post-college job market was slim pickings. “There were really not that many prospects for a recent fashion grad, or painting grad for that matter,” Cotton says. “So we just decided to go for it and start the company. We’ve been trucking along ever since.”
The company is Peppercotton, a jewelry line that infuses rather serpentine nylon mesh tubing with hundreds of vintage Swarovski and Czech crystals, yielding a design that finds the perfect medium between sparkle and simplicity.
Although both Cotton and Culpepper, who make everything by hand, are fairly new to the world of jewelry (neither studied the craft in school), the talented pair were able to call on their inner circle for some guidance. “My mom actually does metalsmithing, and she helped us learn some things,” Cotton tells Interview. “Also, her jewelry teacher, who she’s seen weekly for years now, really helped us.”
After only two years, Peppercotton’s wrap bracelets and necklaces have already garnered the attention of some big names, including super stylist and fashion editor Lori Goldstein. “Her attention really made us feel like we were doing something legit,” Cotton explains. “She actually pulled our stuff for Japanese Vogue and tons of other big publications. It gave us a lot of motivation to move forward.”
The work isn’t likely to slow down. “We’d love to get a men’s line established,” Cotton says. “We want to do a children’s line and branch out into clothing, textiles. We’ll see what happens.”