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Anna Murphy and Lauren Schab

Anna Murphy has been writing about the twenty-fives' quarter-life crisis for Stay Thirsty for over a year and a half. During that time she has chronicled many of the thoughts/feelings/ambitions/aspirations and fashions of her generation of young women living in Manhattan. We know well her creative talents as a writer and a singer, but now we understand she is adding a new venture – a line of jewelry. Thirsty caught up with Anna at her home in NYC for this chat.

THIRSTY: Have you always been a creative force?

ANNA MURPHY: For as long as I can remember, I have been creating things. In first grade, it was a one-inch squared flipbook about a ladybug named leg. The next year, I graduated to making books with real cloth-wrapped cardboard covers and sewn binding. When I was in grade school, I was a gifted rock-tumbler. I collected the rocks, put them in the machine and let them roll around for a bit, and voila – I had the shiniest, smoothest gemstones on the block.

In middle school, I painted the stripes of my white shell-toed Adidas sneakers with red glitter nail polish. I loved it – no one else had the same color as me. (I think they did come out with a sparkle version eventually).

THIRSTY: How did you and your jewelry partner Lauren meet?

ANNA MURPHY: We were kindred spirits. We both went to Catholic school (different ones, but really, they're all the same), lived a street down from each other in Burke Station, crushed hard on the same boy who drove a white Camaro and dreamed of one day lifeguarding at the neighborhood pool when we were of age. All of those things and the fact that we were the only preteens that both cross-stitched made us inseparable.

Assembly of annacroswell creations

THIRSTY: Were there any projects you and Lauren worked on before designing jewelry?

ANNA MURPHY: On one particularly creative day, we took old T-shirts and gave them a facelift with some painted-on words and pictures. I remember painting a turquoise feather and writing a quote about floating and flying away. A red shirt got the word "smile" stamped on it in yellow sponge paint. My mom still has that one. And I'm happy she kept this very feeble attempt at fashion design because the shirt marks a time in our lives when we were truly free to just create and be happy.

THIRSTY: What motivated you and Lauren to embark on this jewelry venture now?

ANNA MURPHY: I think as you grow up, you're constantly being met with reality's suppressors and being reminded of life's limitations. As a child, the world is your oyster. So I think it's a desire to tap back into that childhood mindset of innovation combined with an unyielding itch to create and share. Only this time we have access to cooler materials – we've graduated from the puffy paint and needlepoint of yore.

We've created a jewelry/lifestyle brand called annacroswell – a name taken from our names Anna (Rebecca) and (Lauren) Croswell. The colorful chunky accessories are inspired by our personal and unique styles along with our geographical influences (NYC and DC respectively). Lauren is now working in government and living in Georgetown and I work for a music website and reside in East Village. It's safe to say that the streets we walk down every day double as runways for fashion's elite and we have a front row seat.

THIRSTY: What is your process?

Bracelets from the annacroswell collection

ANNA MURPHY:  We're living, working and creating in these booming east coast metropolises so we are able to draw inspiration the styles and people that surround us. But I'm also a big believer that you need to kind of hole up to get creative, so it's in good ol' Burke, Virginia where we can really kick back, relax and invent together without the distractions of city life.

THIRSTY: What are your aspirations?

My whole series for Stay Thirsty has been a montage of my life moments. How I am growing up, and growing creatively, and coming to realize the important things in life. Your twenties are a constant learning curve and I'm just thankful that in my next venture, I have my best friend beside me to make a plan and conceive the annacroswell brand. Maybe we'll even tackle clothing items and copyrighted quotes one day.


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