Vintage Jules by Linda Schotz

While on my southern California shopping expedition, I also stumbled upon another great boutique in the Malibu Country Mart. Anouk is a beautifully curated shop, most famous for their gorgeous boots. But let me tell you, a collection of unique necklaces, the likes of which I’d never seen before, practically called my name from a case in the middle of the store. (“Amy…Amy…come look….”)

Anouk in the Malibu Country Mart

Vintage pocket watches were re-purposed…filled with sparkling Swarovski crystals, giving them artistic new life. The creative force behind these necklaces is Linda Schotz, and her line is appropriately called Vintage Jules, after her father.

Amazing pocket watch necklaces!

Here’s one of my favorites I saw on her website:

Just stunning....

An avid collector, Linda finds watches, medals, Buddahs, and other assorted treasures at places such as swap meets and antique fairs. She then creates an imaginative, completely unique piece of jewelry that will surely garner many compliments when worn.

Given my inexplicable love of all things Buddah (I swear, I must have been Buddhist in a past life!) it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t see these necklaces in person. Absolutely fabulous!


Though the Vintage Jules line is relatively new, now in its second year, I have no doubt that this is just the beginning!

Jewelry that gives back

While I certainly never need a reason to go jewelry shopping, I must admit that when I find out that part of the proceeds from my purchase will go to charity, then I’m doubly happy! I’m encountering more and more designers who do give back, and I’d like to tell you about three that I’ve found right here in the Bay Area.

First is Joan Hornig. I first saw a stunning necklace of hers at Philanthropist on Sacramento Street, but now even Neiman Marcus has picked up her line. And get ready for the shocker…100% of the profits from each purchase are donated to the charity of your choice–it’s almost too good to be true!

I would describe her line as modern chic, with pieces ranging from chunky to more streamlined. You’ll find both silver and gold, either on their own or combined with color and neutrals. Her larger scale necklaces are sure to be conversation starters!

Joan Hornig butterfly necklace

I think this pair of earrings would be just as beautiful with a cocktail dress as they would be with jeans and a sweater.

Joan Hornig earrings

While in Manika Jewelry recently, I was excited to see and learn about Jeanne Johngren’s line. She donates a portion of her proceeds to various charities, some of which focus on children, education, and health literacy. Jeanne combines her background in art and cinematography to create stunning pieces in silver, gold, and gemstones. Two circular pendant necklaces specifically jumped out at me while in the store.

Gold medallion with diamond starburst

Mandala inspired necklace by Jeanne Johngren

Finally, I have to tell you about a jewelry line that I’ve had a long-time love affair with…Love Heals. This family company (mom, son and daughter) is based right here in California and they have 10 trees planted for every piece they sell. How amazing is that?! This organic, bohemian-flavored line is just divine. I find their simpler, long necklaces are ideal layering pieces, and their more ornate pieces are stunning on their own. Here are a couple examples of their design:

Love Heals necklace

Double layer necklace

Love Heals sells at a wide range of stores and boutiques. I often find a nice selection at the various Margaret O’Leary boutiques in the Bay Area.

So with these designers in mind, go hit the stores with a happy heart, knowing that your new treasure will be helping others as well. 🙂

Shopping destination: Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

I recently spent a few days in southern California checking out all the hot shopping spots from Laguna to Malibu. (and let me tell you…there are lots of them!) In Orange County, I visited two stores that had some tres chic jewelry lines that I’d never encountered before. Of course, I just have to share!

First stop was Aris on the Pacific Coast Highway, owned by the uber-cool and friendly Trey Russell. This shop was home to one of the most well-edited collections I’ve ever seen before…clothing, jewelry, housewares… it’s truly a lifestyle shop.

While peering through drawers upon drawers of jewelry, I was especially drawn to pieces by local designer Diane Cotton. I loved the diversity of her line, from chunkier necklaces with an organic, African tribal vibe, to the exquisite ribbon cuffs adorned with vintage buckles and pearls. She is clearly a collector, and her line reflects her passion.

Diane Cotton's organic-feeling jewelry

Diane Cotton's embellished bracelets

Needless to say, I must have spent more than an hour in this boutique, and I did not leave empty-handed.

Just a short drive north of Aris, I stopped at Juxtaposition in Newport Beach–an airy, eclectic interiors store. They must think like I do, as jewelry is just as much a part of one’s home as your living room couch is. I was immediately drawn to a large upright cabinet teeming with very interesting jewelry.

The line that grabbed me was Relics by Tami. Her jewelry was amazing in it’s mix of vintage parts combined with new. Each piece was highly unique and perfect for layering with other jewelry you already own.

Relics by Tami jewelry

I love that both of these lines incorporate vintage into their designs, and that they are both local designers. Next time you find yourself on the Orange County coast, be sure to allot yourself time to stop into both of these unique stores! And if you need a bite to eat to keep up that shopping energy, I can definitely recommend both Zinc or Anastasia in downtown Laguna (which happens to be a boutique and a cafe all in one!).

Jen Hansen of Peppina Jewelry

Last February, during an impromptu one-night visit to Beverly Hills, I happened upon the most amazing necklace at Fred Segal on Melrose. It has become one of my most-worn items, so I was just thrilled to meet the designer in person at her southern California trunk show back at Fred Segal last week.

Jen Hansen is the creative talent behind her Peppina jewelry line. It sparkles, it mesmerizes, and it just begs to be tried on!

Rings by Peppina Jewelry

Jen started her business almost ten years ago, although jewelry making has been a life-long hobby. She decided to delve into metal smithing and was hooked! Her beautiful jewelry is all produced in Los Angeles (very cool!), and is made of rhodium plated silver, 22K gold clad over sterling, and lucious druzy and semi-precious stones. Fred Segal is the only store in California that sells her line, so if you decided to buy one of her pieces, you’ll be sure to have something you don’t see coming and going.

Not only is Jen wonderfully creative and kind, but she also has a big heart! She is passionate about children and battling against human trafficking, so 10% of her profits go to such organizations as Not for Sale.

Jen Hansen and Amy

If the lure of druzy calls to you, then you just have to check out the Peppina Jewelry line! Enjoy. 🙂