When I was at SewDown on March 20 for Los Angeles Fashion Week, I stumbled upon Jessica’s jewelry booth, which featured wire-wrapped mineral jewelry and geodes painted in 24k gold. I knew the LA-based designer would be a great up-and-coming artist to feature on LadyLUX and here she is today, sharing her story with our readers.
Jessica Matrasko isn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill designer. She didn’t go to FIDM and she wasn’t born with a welding kit attached to her hip. Although she’s been crafty her whole life, it wasn’t until five years ago, shortly after the passing of her mother, that she turned to jewelry as her creative outlet. As the business has grown, it’s evident that her vintage-inspired collection serves as an artistic homage to her accessory savvy mother, and a subconscious mission to create jewelry that will remain memorable.
LadyLUX: How did you discover jewelry?
Jessica Metrasko: I ended up taking some classes in wire-wrapping and found that it was really relaxing and enjoyable. I started making stuff for myself and gifts…then people started asking about it.
LL: How did you figure out to market it?
JM: I started asking around, “How do you price jewelry?” and it started from there. I just started selling a few pieces here and there. About three years ago I left my full time job and started my business.
LL: It definitely doesn’t look like a first-timer made your jewelry. Has their been a progression in your aesthetic?
JM: There was definitely a lot more wire-wrapping when I first started. Then I got more into the pieces with gold painted on them and using big chains. I’ve always gone for the rough stones and natural looking pieces.
LL: Where did you get your inspiration?
JM: Actually, a lot of inspiration came from stuff that my mom had in the 70s and early 80s.
LL: So your mother could be to credit for your jewelry?
JM: Absolutely. My mother was always into natural stones and she had a lot of gold painted leaves in her collection. As a kid, you go through your mother’s jewelry, play with it and try it on. There are definitely pieces, like my geode pieces, that are straight out of her jewelry box. Anything with leaves – straight out of it. I guess it is reminiscent of the jewelry I played with as a kid.
LL: What do you enjoy about your line?
JM: I like things that are imperfect. I don’t like using perfectly cut stones. I like that when they are rough, they are completely unique. Even though I may reproduce a design, each piece is different because no stone is the same.
Jessica shared a fun anecdote with LadyLUX, about a fan she enjoyed talking to.
JM: One time I met this 80-year-old lady. She had seen one of my necklaces that had a leaf on it and she said, “I bought one of these 60 years ago when I was in Hawaii and I still have it!” That’s what is it is all about… that really cool connection. People remember having this stuff.
LL: Any changes to expect from your line?
JM: I’m looking at doing a lower price-point line because I know with our current economic situation, that would be probably be appreciated by my customers.
Jessica has retail shops carrying her jewelry everywhere from Beverly Hills and Japan, to Washington and Oklahoma. If you don’t have a boutique near you, check out her website at www.jessicamatraskojewelry.com. Plus, Jessica was lovely enough to give LadyLUX readers a 25% discount off your total purchase, simply enter the “LadyLux” code at checkout!