Studio Visit: Jessica Winzelberg

While I continue to covet simple and chic everyday jewels, I get equally excited about unique pieces that are bold and dramatic. And when I’m looking to make a statement I turn to Jessica Winzelberg, who recently relocated her life and business from San Francisco to LA. Jessica is a true original – from her personal style (loads of color, pattern and heavily layered jewels) to her eponymous line of jewelry. I paid a visit to her Highland Park studio to check out her latest creations in person. In between trying on chrysoprase necklaces and boulder opal earrings we got to chatting about jewels, LA, food, ceramics, magazines, business and more.

Heather Taylor: Your collection has such a unique signature style. How would you describe it?

Jessica Winzelberg: I create a line of fine jewelry that is organic but also luxurious and refined. My signature is my use of rare, natural stones mixed with ancient and exotic inspired metalwork. I have become known for these unexpected stone combinations.

HT: What inspires you to continue to innovate?  

JW: I’ve always had an inherent desire to create something that is utterly unique and all my own. Bringing life to a new design that had previously only existed in my head is one my greatest passions. This, coupled with the joy that jewelry brings people is what propels me forward. Jewelry is unique in that it truly becomes a part of someone’s story. It provides memories, joy, protection, and strength. I adore creating something that looks gorgeous on my clients, but that also mixes into their life and becomes a part of them. There is nothing better to me than finding a new way to bring beauty into someone’s life.

HT: Please talk about some of the stones you love to work with most.

JW: I use a lot of rare boulder opals, agates and jaspers. Each one of these is inherently one of a kind because of the way they have formed over thousands of years.  My favorite pieces are always the ones with strong, saturated colors and patterns. The new earrings with boulder opals and dalmatian stone (a spotted cream and black stone) are my current favorites.

HT: Are you debuting new designs for holiday?

JW: We’re releasing more gorgeous one-of-a-kind earrings and necklaces. And we have really exciting new collections coming for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

HT: You recently moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. How does working in LA differ from running your business in SF?

JW: LA has a wonderfully supportive artist community and many more production resources. I think it is an amazing time to be an artist and maker in Los Angeles. Both the lifestyle that Los Angeles offers and the physical landscape of this area are endlessly inspiring to me.

HT: How would you describe the Jessica Winzelberg girl?

JW: My clients are the best. The JW girl is a bit of a modern treasure hunter – she appreciates beauty and rarity and loves collecting one-of-a-kind pieces. She considers her jewels to be a part of her daily armor, and she wears them all the time. And she loves pops of color and layers.

HT: Favorites of the moment…

Magazine? Porter and Vogue Living are two I get especially excited about.
Album? I’ve had a mixture of Blood Orange, Pure Bathing Culture, The Drums and an unplugged Florence and The Machine on repeat in the studio lately.
Movie? Before Sunrise and An Education are two favorites.
City to visit? Cape Town! It is where I met my husband, and I’m dying to go back. For something a little closer to home, I love Bolinas in West Marin.
Perfume? I love mixing sandalwood and rose. Lately I’ve been wearing Winter by Dasein Fragrance.
Candle? Anything and everything Le Feu de L’Eau.
Piece of business advice? What has worked best for me is focusing on taking everything one step at a time and working as much as possible on building infrastructure and systems as I go. I also believe in thinking of failure as a prerequisite to future success.
Neighborhood spot to get an afternoon snack? I love Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park. It’s a quick walk from my house and right next to the post office, so I treat myself to one of their cookies and a hibiscus iced tea after dropping off orders.
Recipe? I’ve been making this amazing bread recipe a lot lately.
Way to unwind? Massage, acupressure, taking an art class or walking my dog.  I also keep a rebounder in my studio that I love to jump on to clear my head.

Photography by Jeana Sohn.