by Mona Elyafi
photography by Robert Benson

We all know Lauren Bedford Russell as one of the cast members of Showtime's top-performing, unscripted series The Real L Word. However, the reality show only captures a tiny slice of Lauren's life, pigeonholing her into the "L'amanda" moniker, without revealing whom the young woman truly is. 

While most reality TV stars, such as Bethenny Frankel, Nene Leakes, and the Kardashians have successfully parlayed their celebrity into showbiz careers or other big buck businesses, Lauren Russell’s entrepreneurial expansion started long before her stint on reality TV.

Off camera, Lauren is not only an accomplished woman and savvy business entrepreneur; she is also a fervent activist. Lauren is devoted to inspiring others to make a difference through her artistic craft of jewelry design.

However, anyone who knows Lauren wouldn’t expect anything less––certainly not with a pedigree like hers. Few people know this, but Lauren Bedford Russell comes from a family of notables indeed. She is the daughter of economist Richard Russell, who for over 50 years wrote the Dow Theory Letters - the legendary news letters about the stock market. Lauren is the granddaughter of Max Lerner, a well reputed author and syndicated columnist said to be one of the great minds of our time; and she is the sister of accomplished actress Betsy Russell, better known as "Jill Tuck," the ex-wife of the Jigsaw Killer in the Saw movie series.

Lauren earned a degree in Business and Gemological studies, and also spent a year sketching for the Ivanka Trump FineJewelry line. Since then,Lauren has been more than simply romancing the stones. Launched in 2012, Lauren delved into high-end jewelry design under the marquee of her own company Lyon Fine Jewelry. Making a lot of noise since its fledging beginnings in 2011, Lauren continues to set the standard in the world of luxury jewelry. Her designs, with their unique unsurpassed sophistication, style, and uncompromising quality, fuse ’70s rock and ’90s New York sophistication.

At the helm of Lyon Fine Jewelry, Lauren’s goal is not only to stress the importance of accessorizing, but also to evoke a deep sense of identity. Her striking designs are apparent in each of her pieces, which is what gives clients a signature look. Centering on black diamonds, black jade,  and black rhodium-plated silver and gold, her inventive designs are meant for all genders.

Lauren prides herself on using only conflict-free gemstones, and produces all her jewelry in New York City and Los Angeles. The result is a jewelry collection which impeccably reflects her edgy, avant-garde style making her one of L.A.’s most talked-about new comers to the jewelry scene. It's no surprise celebrities and fashion trendsetters around the world, notably E!'s very own Fashion Police host Kelly Osbourne, adorn her creations.

Lauren isn’t only breaking the mold with her designs—she’s also using her jewelry to be in the vanguard of social activism. Aside from her high end jewelry, LYON Fine Jewelry is also well-known for its popular celebrity endorsed commemorative bracelets called the "Equality" and "Rock The Vote." In an effort to raise awareness and give back, proceeds from both of these bracelets are donated to causes that are close to her heart.

In an effort to help break the traditional view of marriage, Lauren launched her Equality Bracelet collection with 20% of the proceeds going to Friendfactor Foundation. This organization is committed to rallying straight allies to take simple actions for historic results to end the legal inequalities that gays and lesbians face in employment, housing, and marriage.

LYON’s 2013 collection includes four different Equality bracelets, each named after a city that has been crucial in the gay rights movement: Stonewall, Castro, WeHo, and Vere. Like all of LYON Fine Jewelry’s pieces, these bracelets are unisex and share the common slogan “We Are All Created Equal.” Celebrities rocking their equality bracelets include Adam Lambert, Jason Mraz, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Perez Hilton, Cyndi Lauper, Wilmer Valderrama, and Lance Bass.

Artistically creative, engaging, and entertaining, this La Jolla, CA native is making her mark on the entertainment business as a savvy busines woman, a sassy television personality, and fine jewelry de- signer. Lauren Bedford Russell is a woman who is not defined by the "L'amanda" stigma The Real L Word created. She is a lesbian business entrepreneur whose professional success is not dependent on the popularity of the reality show, but rather made through hard work, dedication and clear understanding that accessories can help make a statement beyond fashion.

With features on MTV’s Style, Curve Magazine,, Coco Perez, Riviera Magazine, and others, LYON has quickly blossomed into one of the leaders in jewelry innovation and design, and has quickly become one of the most sought after jewelry lines in the country today.

For more information about LYON Fine Jewelry, visit