When the L.A. designer’s not making super-delicate earrings…READ MORE
“The youngest person that’s worn my stuff is eight years old, and the oldest person I’ve seen wearing my stuff is in her sixties. And there are some dudes who have worn my jewelry,” laughs Kathleen Whitaker, explaining her namesake line’s diverse fan base. What gives? Her clean, simple, and hyper-adaptable aesthetic, which takes its cues from Japanese minimalism and the delicacy of English porcelain—in fact, she studied ceramics at Newcomb College at Tulane University, which helped her develop that keen eye of hers.
After working a series of desk jobs in L.A.—PR, corporate philanthropy, financial services!—Kathleen felt that compulsion to get back to her artsy roots and dove into some jewelry-making classes, which sparked a new hobby. “I liked the idea of sculpting something and understanding how certain types of matter can accommodate a design—sort of like what metal will let you do versus what clay will let you do,” she says. Her then-boyfriend set up a website to show off her designs, she did some time at Echo Park Craft Fair (what started as a friend’s backyard affair that’s now a major L.A. event), and bam: Her quiet jewelry attracted some noisy West Coast buzz, turning this burgeoning brand into her full-time gig in 2009.
These days, she’s working on growing her international presence and getting back into her earthen roots by introducing her equally beautiful ceramic pieces to the mix. But the jewelry? That’s sticking around for the long haul. —koun bae
BEHIND THE SCENES
Ahh—a ‘hood that has it all.
Maybe she’ll invite us to move in?