A Design Life

“This little dream of mine just keeps getting sweeter” —Karli Buxton

Karli Buxton sitting at a tableKarli Buxton leads a busy life. From designing original jewelry pieces, to selling to retailers nationwide or traveling the world on buying trips for materials, this alumna is indeed hustling.  But her dream, inspired by the fashion program at Georgia Southern University, paved the way.

“I wanted to create a jewelry line focused on bold, one-of-a-kind jewels that could take a plain T-shirt to the next level,” explained Buxton, a 2011 graduate of the Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design program.

Near the end of her studies, she moved to New York to complete the required three-month internship. Buxton worked under the tutelage of evening wear and bridal gown designer Don O’Neill of THEIA.

“There I gained much-needed knowledge in the fashion industry”, said Buxton.

a four layer gold and silver necklace with a large clear crystal in the middle
BOLD JEWELS: Buxton travels all over the world to buy materials for her unique jewelry designs.

In 2012, she first sold her jewelry design collection to a local boutique in her hometown of Macon, Georgia. After her business became known in the social media world, she was contacted by more retail stores. Buxton’s retail presence has grown to more than 400 stores across the country in a little over five years.

Buxton concentrated on selling directly to retailers from the start.  “It was very neat, at the time, to think I could have my designs sold in retail stores across the country,” said the alumna. Her minor in business helped prepare her for the financial demands of the wholesale designer jewelry trade.

She had a great time at Georgia Southern. One instructor that made an impact was Amy Scarborough, Ph.D.  She took Buxton and a group of students to New York City for a fashion study program, exploring all things fashion for a week. They toured various fashion high spots including designer studios and even had meetings with designers Tommy Hilfiger and Cynthia Rowley. “I met some of the best people I know to this day while at Georgia Southern, and will cherish those friendships for a lifetime.”

For the past two years she has participated in New York Fashion Week under the platform, “A Cosmo Life.” That platform includes the movements Fashion Against Bullying and Homelessness in New York City and London. “I am honored to be a part of something that makes a difference in the world,” said Buxton.

Her popularity continues to grow. Vogue India has used her jewelry designs in several fashion editorials, and actresses Shay Mitchell and Vanessa Hudgens are fans of the line. She has also designed jewelry for Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and his wife Brittney’s clothing brand, Tribe Kelley.

Buxton said “I love that the Karli Buxton line gives me the freedom of being able to create a life based on hard work and dedication. The challenge of coming up with new and innovative ideas keeps it fun.  Seeing people love my work is so rewarding.”

— Liz Walker