The chief content officer of Goop and mother of two talks about her tomboy roots growing up in Montana, to taking the helm of glossy magazines and one very buzzy podcast.
Between bolstering the lifestyle website Goop to the immense level of popularity it’s at today, to interviewing wellness gurus and world-renowned authors for the fan favorite Goop podcast, Elise Loehnen, who heads up content at the site launched by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008, is busy to say the least. Add to that being mom to two young boys and it’s safe to say the Montana native has her hands full, but seemingly in the best way possible.
The former magazine editor, who cut her teeth at titles including Lucky magazine and Time Out in New York, has widened her scope beyond fashion and now also focuses on health, wellness and spirituality as well. Loehnen can be credited with the robust and engaging content on Goop, bringing her inquisitive nature and intelligent questions to each subject she interviews.
Despite her busy life, she still manages to regularly devour books by her favorite writers and snap up jewelry on her many travels, satiating her love of shopping and hunting for unique and meaningful treasures.
Here she divulges more about her career and the pieces of jewelry that mean most to her.
Have you always loved fashion and jewelry?
I grew up in Montana, riding horses and skiing and generally being a tomboy — but I kept a growing stash of Vogue, W, and Interview magazine, and I would plaster my bedroom walls with their shoots. I was obsessed with that very foreign world. We didn’t have a lot of local shopping in those pre-internet days, so my mom would drive me to Spokane, Washington twice a year to stock up on clothing for school at Nordstrom. Those trips were major pinnacles of the year. Like most kids, I was into crafting, too, so I would make earrings out of pinecones (true story), and bead elaborate necklaces out of seed beads from the Trading Post on the Arlee Native American reservation and sell them to my mom’s friends. The line was called Elisé. Obviously.
After college I started working in magazines in NYC where my passion for shopping really took off — lately, it’s been tempered by having kids (their clothing is so much cuter), though I am always, always shopping for jewelry, particularly when I travel. All of my jewelry holds a lot of memories.
Do you recall the first time you remember falling in love with jewelry? And the particular piece?
As mentioned, I used to make my own jewelry — on a mini-loom, with a needle and thread, with found objects. My mom had my ears pierced when I was two-weeks old (very forward!) and so I always, always wore earrings (typically from Claire’s Boutique). My first piece of “real” jewelry was a diamond pendant from Costco (again, limited local shopping), and then I slowly started collecting pieces — some Me & Ro earrings from a friend in college, the Helen Ficalora charms and huggies that we memorialized every month in the pages of Lucky magazine.
The first piece of jewelry my husband gave me was when we were dating — a Victorian R.E.G.A.R.D. ring (risky move as we were not yet engaged!), which I still love and wear. Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, Diamond. And years before that, when I was traveling in France and really wanting change in my life, I found some enameled antique travel charms at a flea market in the South, and put them on a chain with a St. Michael pendant to bring in some new energy. It worked. And for my 25th birthday, my parents gave me a pair of huggies that are foil-wrapped mine-cut diamonds. They are not flashy, but just enough to work with anything — I pretty much do not take them off.
Obviously, another favorite: my engagement ring, which belonged to my husband’s great grandmother. I had no idea of its existence and so told him that he shouldn’t spend money on a ring—but certainly wasn’t going to turn it down. It’s three diamonds set tightly together in a simple crown, filigree setting.
Do you have a favorite era that you’re most drawn to?
I’m not that particular, actually — I like the morbidity of many Georgian and Victorian pieces (lockets with hair, mourning rings, etc.)
Are there certain types of pieces you collect or seem to have most of?
Rings and pendants. If it can be put on a chain (including rings), then I want it!
Who are some of your go-to brands and why?
I love Kim Dunham’s signet rings — she made me one that I wear every day. It has one of my spirit animals (leopard) engraved on the front, and inside it has the Paul Coelho quote, “Encounters are planned by the soul.” I love Foundrae as well — really beautiful, enamel pendants that have incredible weight, and this is a bit of a curveball, but I’ve always loved Nak Armstrong. I also have a diamond-edged evil eye from Lito that I wear almost every day. I would like to add 2-3 more to my collection so that I can wear them layered!
What are some of your recent favorite jewelry moments you’ve had on set/at work? Stories?
I frequently visit the Venyx jewelry at goopLab — it is so stunning and ornate, and yet way too expensive to buy myself for anything other than … an upcoming 40th birthday? I’m just going to drop that hint here.
You have such singular and impeccable taste — is there a piece you’ve been dreaming of that you would love to design for yourself?
I actually just made one. A co-worker recently made me a necklace to order that was based off of one she had made for herself. It’s a small peridot set into a chain, which is the birthstone of my brother-in-law and best friend, Peter, who died suddenly in 2017. It is off-set by three dangling diamonds, which are for my three boys, including my husband Rob.
Elise Loehnen’s 6 favorite items on Beladora:
My first mentor, Kim France, who was the founding editor-in-chief of Lucky is obsessed with snake rings—they are her signature. I would wear this as a sign of gratitude to her, for everything that she taught me!
I have a ring like this — it was a pendant that I had transformed. I would love to do the same to this one and wear them together. You can really never have too many lion rings.
I deeply covet these for my next black-tie wedding. Or I might just wear them around the house.
Curve ball, but I’m deeply fascinated by opals—this would be a fun dress-up ring.
This might be my only shot at getting a piece of JAR jewelry!
These are the perfect drops. I’ve placed these on a client before, one that tends to shy away from major diamonds. These were perfectly understated and beautiful.