Owner and Designer
132 La Plaza, Palm Springs
What do you recommend for a Valentine’s Day gift?
Go out on the limb and try something different! Be original. That’s why people come here and the same clients keep coming back. This isn’t like walking into Pandora and seeing the same charm in every store. I can tell you the story about every one of my pieces. Making jewelry like this isn’t an easy thing, but it’s worth it in the end.
Why did you name your studio Hephaestus?
Hephaestus (pronounced huh-fes’-tus) is the Greek god of fire and patron of all craftsmen, particularly those working with metals. When he landed on the island of Lemnos, he learned the ways of working iron, copper, gold, silver — using a volcano as his forge. He made things like thunderbolts and a scepter for Zeus and arrow for Eros.
How do you approach designing jewelry?
It’s about telling a story. Most of my inspiration comes from travel and dreams. I was hiking in Hawaii, up in the jungles off the Pali Highway. It was so thick I couldn’t see a foot in front of me. The foliage was dense, leaf on top of leaf. I ended up coming up with this design of a gold ring with wavy lines.
Your Mexican hairless dog Dee Oh Gee is often bejeweled. What’s his fave gems?
I don’t want someone to take him, so his real jewels stay at home. He has a diamond collar, a pearl collar, and some others he wears at night. He wears an understated collar during the day because he walks up and down the sidewalk and draws people in (to Hephaestus Jewelry).
The abalone on Friday nights at Wally’s Desert Turtle [in Rancho Mirage]. They bring it in from Monterey Bay. Everything they do — presentation, flavor, cooking process — it’s the best in SoCal.