A bevy of organic jewels grow in Brooklyn at Lisa Levine's new shop in Williamsburg. by Jonathan Forgang
Opening a store is never really a snap decision, but for jewelry designer Lisa Levine the choice was a simple product of serendipity. Having outgrown her Greenpoint loft, she was searching for a new workshop when she happened upon the storefront on Metropolitan Avenue. "The minute I walked in I just knew it was the one," Lisa recalled, "and I love the neighborhood too." Seeing the potential for both a shop and space in which to design, she decided to open her eponymous store, exclusively selling her own hand-hewn pieces.
The shop, a long and narrow area that houses both the display space and the designer's shop in the back, is dominated by custom-built raw wood display cases, an array of exotic flowers, and large photos of forest life on the walls. It seems an ideal home for Lisa's unique organic designs that are metal in material but natural and lifelike in appearance. The only thing that may seem out of sorts is the beaded curtain that divides the store and workspace. "My first job was in a bead store," Lisa says. "So I took some beads that I had and made all my friends who came to visit help out in making it." This playful attitude can be seen in many of the newer designs such as the Set Free necklace that is actually a long chain that can be wrapped or draped to the wearer's liking. The Skyline series features flat silver links that look just as beautiful intertwined with feathers as they do fashioned into a three-finger ring.
Juggling the roles of both shop owner and designer would be a demanding task to most people, but Lisa seems to have settled nicely into the dual role, enthusiastically helping customers into flattering pieces while offering cookies and cupcakes to other eager patrons. When she handed me an oxidized silver chain, she told me, "I guess I don't know you, but I think this is something that you would wear." She was right.
A bevy of organic jewels grow in Brooklyn at Lisa Levine's new shop in Williamsburg.