Women and Sheepskin

Jessica Winzelberg

Los Angeles, CA


Interview by Blue Firth
Photography by Tehya Shea

Describe what you do:
I'm a jeweler and artist and I work primarily with rainbow gemstones, gold, and enamel. I live on the eastside of Los Angeles, and I recently moved from Highland Park to Echo Park. Previously, I worked out of a small garden creative building in the back of my property and got to smell my rainbow roses and snack on figs from my backyard garden everyday. Right now I'm in the process of moving into a new studio in nearby Glassell Park, which will house my manufacturing, office and a by-appointment retail space.



Where were you photographed for this interview?

For this interview I was photographed in my old home and garden studio.




How long have you had your MS coat?
Originally, I found out about Milena's work years ago when she was making the most gorgeous silk dresses. I've been a fan ever since and finally scored a shearling jacket last winter. I am wearing this jacket in the photos and it is one of my most prized articles of clothing. It is like wearing a piece of art and a hug at the same time. It is utterly divine and makes me feel inspired to create pieces that make my clients feel as excited as this piece makes me feel.



The visuals that surround you and your brand are joyfully vibrant and kaleidoscopic. Can you talk a little about your relationship with colour?

Color to me is a language. It often communicates emotions and feelings that I cannot put into words. For me, it is connection to memory, it is joy and it is hope. Color is an instant pick me up! I often say my earrings have an effect on the face similar to that of lipstick. Living on the eastside of LA is such a colorful experience - from the super saturated bougainvillea to the sherbert-y peach roadside cactus blooms to the purple tinged mountains, the natural here is so incredible colorful. And the buildings - the glorious painted facades, the hand lettered signs, and the graffiti - all of it really feeds and nourishes me.




How do you find inspiration?

I can find inspiration any and everywhere. In some ways it is a problem! I am never lacking for inspiration. But trying to find time to distill that inspiration into versatile, lasting products is the challenge. I see the beauty in practically everything - anything from hardware store items to dated architectural trends. I'm constantly looking - out in the world, the library, books, magazines, instagram, google searches. I use Feedly to stay up to date on the design and art blogs I like and I take a million screenshots of what I read or see. I'm greedy when it comes to looking for beauty. I need beauty in my life just like I need relationships, food, water, exercise, nature, music, scent, and color. It is a luxury to be able to say so, and to do work that allows me to indulge that, but I know it is what drives me, at my core, so I try to honor it.




What do you do to relax?

To relax, I watch the sunset on my patio, hopefully while grilling something delicious and with a fresh mezcal cocktail in hand. I love to catch up with girlfriends. I also relax by cooking meals that involves a lot chopping. Or I workout. Or plan a trip. Or walk my dog around LA. Also I do love to google image search something beautiful and go down a deep rabbit hole.





Daily Rituals / Morning:
So I'm not a morning person. The most important thing I do in that regard is schedule a workout first thing in the morning. It has to be outside of the house with a financial penalty (real talk!) or I'll come up with an excuse not to do it! And then I try to come back to the present with a notebook and my Hobonichi agenda to prioritize what has to get done for the day, week, month year! Before or after dinner, I take a walk with my dog around the neighborhood and water my garden. Then before bed, I love mint tea with milk and honey and to try to again check in with my notebook and ideally get a meditation in before bed.



Favorite place:
Portugal. I'm smitten with the people, the colors, the patterns, the materials, the crafts, the food and the ocean. I dream of decamping there for a year!



When/how did you realise that you wanted to leave the corporate world for a creative life?

I left banking about a decade ago - I decided around 3 am one morning while I was sitting in the office waiting on someone higher up to review a powerpoint presentation and have me make minute grammatical changes. It certainly hasn't been an easy route, but t I am so lucky to get to do work I find meaningful and inspiring and to add some beauty to the world.








Favorite recipe:

My go to is coconut rice and chopped cucumber and peanut salad. I'm not one for specific quantities, I always double check on google and estimate but here is the basic idea:




Coconut Rice -
Boil 1 can coconut milk  + 1.25 cup water with a tablespoon of coco sugar and some salt - add 1.5 cups of rice and bring to a boil then simmer per your rice instructions. Top with toasted cashews or shallots if you're being fancy.

Cucumber salad -
Chop up a few mini persian cucumbers, a large handful of peanuts and mix with a big glug of sesame oil, juice from one lime, sweet chili sauce, coconut aminos, a dash of fish sauce. Top with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Sometimes I'll add chopped mango or stonefruit. I do it all to taste because I can never remember actual proportions.