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J. Hannah Founder and Designer of pieces to keep forever.

J. Hannah Founder and Designer of pieces to keep forever.

Where do you go when you want to renew your wedding rings after 30 years?

Well when we found LA based J. Hannah Jewelry - all pieces fell into place: Designed to be future heirlooms, made from 100% post consumer recycled gold and diamonds, hand-fabricated in Los Angeles. They even donate 100% of the profits from their polish Dune to a rotating roster of human rights organizations!

Tell us a little about your childhood, were you creative already as a child, do you have any relatives/siblings that inspired you?

"My mom is an artist in her own right, and her outlook led me to explore and work with my hands early on. I definitely consider the environment I grew up in to be ‘creative’ and I was the kid making lanyard and wire-wrapped bracelets at summer camp…  

Developing my tastes early on was also a blueprint for my creativity. I was shown my grandmother’s vintage jewelry pieces as a kid, and that was a turning point in opening my eyes to the intricacies of fine jewelry later on; to begin to understand it as a tangible practice and a true craft. I still consider part of my passions to be an amalgamation of relatives in that sense. Jewelry is also often passed down in families — and being exposed to what I really see as works of art early on — was all part of an inherited passion for beauty, which started as a child. "

 

When did you realize that jewelry was your thing? Have you always been drawn to shiny materials or was it to investigate the meaning of humans' fundamental desire to decorate themselves? (Side note: We were in Knossos Greece and saw the beautiful very thin decorated helmets the Minoans made to wear in battle and their attempt to make metal mirrors (no glass) which made us realize the importance of beauty for them. More important than winning the battle in war and this was 3100 B.C.)

"I love that factoid! I discovered my passion for jewelry early on, after inheriting some of the pieces I was shown. In college I studied graphic design, but I liked making things with my hands, so it was a natural progression to learn the craft, as I couldn't afford the things I was lusting after. I began learning from a retired jeweler out of her garage. Later I started making pieces independently in my bedroom, and from there, briefly apprenticed with a local jeweler duo.

J. Hannah started with me hand-making every piece myself and it grew organically from there. 

 

That being said, there wasn’t an ‘aha’ moment so much as a circuitous course — which I think is common for creatives. Yes, I had always in a sense been drawn to design & beauty, but I did not realize that this was something I myself could do for work; too good to be true in some ways! I feel grateful to be fortunate enough to have this as my line of work now. Jewelry design exists in a space somewhere between fashion and industrial design, and that dichotomy feels very true to how my brain works; in that way, through a lot of hard work and trial and error, it really does feel like ‘my thing’ now."

 

How come and when did you decide to become a sustainable brand? Have you always been aware or was it at any particular point you realized what needed to be done? What were the challenges? 

 

"While we do strive towards what is best for the planet and people, we also recognize we are still a brand creating products. As such, we try our best not to label ourselves, as we see a lot of greenwashing in both the jewelry and beauty industries. Particularly with something such as nail polish…beauty products are not sustainable from an environmental perspective, and marketing can get really ahead of itself in this case. 

 Having a studied and informed opinion of how sustainability is defined in the first place is important. We don’t want to brainwash/greenwash anyone with heavy-handed messaging on ‘sustainability’ or ‘clean beauty’. The best we can do is stay informed outside of the consumer-bubble ourselves. From there, we try our best to create a product that is refined enough that the consumer either treasures it forever or uses it till the last drop, and thereby — wastes less.  The foundation of our efforts is in keeping our production local, using recycled and traceable materials and minimizing any waste produced by our business.

How does your morning routine look, breakfast/workouts? We have to ask as we just read that successful men rise at 4AM and do yoga. What do successful women like you do?

 "Haha, I suppose — like those men — movement (for me, pilates, dance or going for walks) is in fact a strong part of my morning routine. I’ll even keep a yoga mat directly by my bed so that stretching is the very first step to the day; I find that even a short window can make all the difference. From there, I’ll take my dog Ruby for a walk, which is also beneficial for me. For the care and pace they encourage — it’s grounding to start the day outdoors."

How does a Friday evening look? Do you stumble into bed early or enjoy any special food with friends in your favorite restaurant or do you continue to work because you forgot to go home at all? 

"No two Fridays are exactly alike per se, and that’s great for me. In my work I want to have strong routines that I rarely waver from, but in my time off I aim to be less rigid. I will ‘switch off’ through having a date night, friends over for dinner or out at my neighborhood wine bar…I love going out to see music as well. I also think connecting back into the body through movement, such as dance, is a wonderful counterbalance to the type of work I do. But I’ll admit that I think a lot of independent business owners have to be good about ‘scheduling’ their time to let go."  

Favorites places in LA:

"I live in Echo Park so there’s a lot to love right around me. To name a few…Honey-Hi, Canyon Coffee, Elysian Park for a stroll, and Stories Book Store."

 We will never let go of our rings, they are precious pieces that stay close to our hearts, with a good conscience.

 

Follow J.Hannah on instagram and visit the website at jhannahjewelry.com

 All images copyright J.Hannah