On the search for the hottest 'hood of the moment? Look no further than Oakland's Temescal district, which seems to be getting cooler by the week. You'll recall our first look at the rad, old-school Temescal Alley Barbershop that opened in the area a couple of weeks ago, and now it looks like there's been another awesome addition in the form of a bauble boutique, courtesy of Bay Area jewelry designer Lauren Wolf. The dreamy new shop, which features vintage jewelry hutches filled with indie designs, along with plants and creepy-cool skeletons of horned animals, is called Esqueleto and sits on the mega-hot 49th Street strip. To find out more about the inspiration behind the brand-spanking-new venture and what's (literally) in-store, we caught up with Wolf, below.
You studied jewelry making in Mexico and also lived in New York for eight years. Why did you decide to relocate to the Bay?
"Traveling has always been incredibly important to me. So, while I loved living in New York, I felt like it was time to change things up. And the fact that my boyfriend lived in Oakland helped! I had also been thinking about opening a store for a while, and I thought it would be great to showcase so many wonderful designers in one place on the West Coast."
Why was opening a store so imporant?
"Having a retail space to sell our work and the work of other artists has been a longtime dream, so we are very excited to finally have the opportunity to open Esqueleto. We seriously considered opening the boutique in Brooklyn while the company was based in New York, but being able to bring the work of so many talented designers to the West Coast has been incredibly rewarding! It has also been great to meet the individuals who walk into the store and have been long-time supporters of Lauren Wolf Jewelry."
How would you describe the design of the shop?
"The space has a lot of windows and we decided to paint the floors white, so when you are in the store it's incredibly bright and inviting. Along with the brightness, it was important to keep the space minimally decorated for a gallery feel, but also important to throw in a raw aesthetic, which was added with antique displays, tables, succulents, and animal skulls. When we're working at the store we often feel like we are in a white-washed, desert abode surrounded by fabulous jewelry!"
How would you describe your line and your "girl" so to speak?
"The line is accessible to a wide range of men and women of all ages. We find that our customer is fashion-forward, but also looking for a piece of jewelry that he or she can wear time and time again. And our 'girl' is looking for a substantial piece of jewelry that can stand out above all the trends, and is something she can treasure over the years. She wants to be bold and confident with her look, but deliver this sense of style in a subtle way."
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