old About MJ & Chantel
Electric Picks is more than just another gold chain. Founded in 2011 by best friends MJ Carlson and Chantel Gia, the brand was born of the idea that jewelry holds our stories, and lives our experiences with us. Each piece is curated with thought, crafted with love, and destined to live your best adventures with you.
As all good things do, it started with a dream —namely, a dream about stringing [vintage] guitar picks onto a bracelet. MJ woke up and promptly set out to replicate the design. And as all modern creative endeavors do, this involved consulting YouTube videos and enlisting the help of her best friend Chantel. Encouraged by family and friends, the self-taught duo were soon filling orders for their vintage-inspired styles — and a brand was born.
Together, MJ and Chantel love to score vintage stores and flea markets around the world to find unique pieces to bring back to life. Working with local New York City metalsmiths, they cast and mold their favorite treasures — think an antique roulette token or a nineteenth century skeleton key — with the hopes these pieces become an extension of a story once told.
As a complement to their cast vintage collection, MJ and Chantel also design a range of their own original pieces, incorporating new chains, new charms and natural elementals like pearls and shells.
And because Electric Picks stands behind the impeccable craftsmanship of each piece, they guarantee every single one of their designs for life.
The result? A line of looks that can be endlessly mixed, matched, layered and loved —wherever your story may take you.
THE BESTIES BEHIND THE BRAND
MJ Carlson is the CEO of Electric Picks, a role that combines her lifelong penchant for design and business. She started her career doing PR for Ocean Drive Magazine, and shortly after launched an event planning company in Miami. Before that, she could be found peddling custom friendship bracelets to her neighborhood while growing up in a small suburb of Chicago. She lives with her husband and young son just outside New York City.
MJ’s Quick Picks:
Best compliment you’ve ever received? “You’re a good friend”.
Favorite movie? A Bronx Tale. I love a good mafia movie ;)
Always makes you laugh? My two year old.
What did you want to be when you grew up? An Anesthesiologist. I actually started school Pre-Med!
First celebrity crush? Johnathan Taylor Thomas or Devon Sawa. There were so many 90’s heartthrobs!
Most important advice you give your children? Stay true to you.
Made my first dollar… Selling friendship bracelets at my daycare!
First concert? B96 SummerBash in Chicago
Favorite jeans? Levi’s RE/DONE.
Heels or sneakers? Sneakers!
Most cherished jewelry? A ring my husband bought me in Bermuda that has pink sand in it. I was wearing it when my son was born, so I will always treasure it.
Chantel Gia is the creative director of Electric Picks. She’s been involved with the fashion industry since the ripe old age of 11, when she began working as a print and fit model in her [native] San Francisco. When seasoned designers started following her suggestions on set, she realized she had a natural eye for style. Two fashion degrees later --one in design, one in merchandising - she’s thrilled to be working at her passion every day. Chantel lives with her husband and 2 children outside of Los Angeles.
Chantel’s Quick Picks:
Best compliment you’ve ever received? “You’re actually really funny”.
Favorite movie? The Departed.
Makes you laugh hardest? Joe Rogan stand-up.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A fashion designer.
First celebrity crush? Edward Furlong. I think it was his cool hair.
Most important advice you give your children? Always keep your word.
Made my first dollar… scooping ice cream on Clearwater Beach, Florida.
First concert? NOFX. I was into punk rock as a teen!
Favorite Jeans? Vintage 901 Levis.
Heels or Sneakers? 99% of the time I'm wearing Nike Air Force 1's.
Most cherished jewelry? I have a ring that belonged to my grandmother, who passed away in 2012. It’s a white gold band with four gemstones in a row. They are the birthstones of my mother and her three sisters. She wore it every day and I have so many memories of her holding my hand and seeing how pretty it was when I was a little girl.