BY SID MARCH
Lauren Bedford Russell: ‘Real L Word’ star, jewelry designer and MS advocate. Being diagnosed with MS is no easy pill to swallow — but Lauren has turned her diagnosis into an opportunity to bring awareness to the condition and make positive changes in her life. We chatted with her about inspirations, L-words and the good she’s doing in the world.
You’ve recently been diagnosed with MS. How has life changed since the diagnosis?
Actually life has gotten better! Sure there are worries and fears for the future, but I have become a more healthy and positive person and living to enjoy each day a bit more.
You’ve become an outspoken advocate for MS awareness. You’re also doing “Positivity Bracelets” with 15% of the profits going toward the National MS Society. How successful do you think your efforts have been so far? Have you accomplished anything unexpected?
It’s amazing how quickly people caught on and are enjoying them! Yes, it is doing very well. I think the unexpected was how well they would do.
You’ve been quoted as saying that since being on the “Real L Word” charity work has become a much bigger part of your life. What other kind of things have you done?
I helped with efforts during Sandy, getting furniture and supplies to people in the hardest hit areas. When my traveling dies down a bit I am going to work really hands on with animals in shelters. I have a deep love for animals and I really want to spend some time and encourage others.
Your jewelry line, Lyon, is really gorgeous. You use only conflict-free diamonds and everything is produced in the US — awesome! What’s a day in the studio like for you?
Well the fun part is that every day is different. I usually spend a few hours on my computer working (I live in Brooklyn), then I head into the city to meet my manufacturer. I’m always fulfilling orders at the shipping center and organizing what I need to re-stock.
Are there any other designers that you find particularly inspiring or influential?
This may sound funny but clothing designers. I am really inspired by Alexander Wang and various vintage brands. I have really honed in on what style I wear and like my jewelry to match.
Do you have any other big creative passions?
I love producing a cool outfit (using scissors) from a so-so one. I think there is certainly a way to make almost any piece look cool.
Sum up your experience with “The Real L Word” in 3 words (even better if they’re L-words):
Learned. Loved. Life-changing.
What kind of projects do you have coming up?
A charity bracelet for animals (probably ASPCA) and an MS benefit concert!
Check out Lauren’s jewelry line, Lyon.