You could say that Pittsburgh native Lisa Levine has always been in the jewelry biz.
"When I was in fifth grade, my best friend and I made a huge amount of friendship bracelets and sold them at a church bazaar," she laughs. "We made $60. At that age, it was like winning the lottery."
Of course, the church bazaar was only the beginning. During high school, Levine honed her natural abilities at a local bead shop and later studied beneath jeweler Billy King in Mexico.
Launched in 2005, her eponymous collection of Brooklyn-made adornments combines a lifelong interest in the natural world with symbols from human history—"from the queens of Egypt, the goddesses of Hinduism [to the] archetypes of the nymphs and mermaids from the sea and from the woods," Levine says.
For the finished pieces, Levine's au naturel inspiration registers in feathery embellishments (like a long pair of colorful feather earrings), ancient-looking talismans and organic shapes.
Sharp geometric motifs, however, keep the collection from feeling too Old World. We were particularly taken with Levine's architectural "Rockets to Mars" necklace, which features red glass beads arranged in cool, triangular patterns.
And as if designing weren't enough to occupy her time, Levine is in the process of opening a healing arts center in her Greenpoint studio. "It's name is Maha Rose," explains Levine. "Inspired by the divine feminine, the process of healing, beauty, nature, devotion and service."
We just knew there was something divine about these baubles.
Available at Oak NYC. For more information, visit www.lisalevinejewelry.com