At My Desk: Jewelry Designer Venessa Arizaga Surrounds Herself with Doughnut Charms and Plenty of Thread

Sharon Feiereisen

AMD-Article_Venessa-ArizagaYou can tell a lot about a person by snooping through their desk: Are they the tchotchke type, or the gold-plated staples type? Do they scribble their thoughts in a Moleskine notebook, or Postalco?
Jewelry designer Venessa Arizaga is known for her sparkling pieces, most of which are dripping in quirky charms, so it’s fitting that her workspace is equally bright both in terms of color and spirit. Here’s a look at what’s on her desk.
1. Inspiration Board: “This is my inspiration board for spring,” explains Arizaga. “I see my girl as living in different worlds. She mixes high and low and easily goes from tough girl, to pearls and pink, to beach bum. My womenswear inspiration also ties into our men’s collection, which will be debuting in January. It’ll be beach-themed, so you can expect lots of palm trees, surfboards, sharks, etc.”
2. Spring 2014 Pieces: “These are some Spring 2014 pieces, though not everything will necessarily end up being sold…I still have some time to change and edit!” exclaims Arizaga.
3. Charms: “I work very closely with my vendors in Peru and Mexico to source all our charms,” says Arizaga. “I’ll call them and tell them I’m feeling a junk food moment or skulls—whatever it might be—and if they don’t have pieces that work they’ll make molds from scratch. Either way, the charms take a long time to make because they’re all handmade and hand-painted.”
4. Thread: “These are my favorite threads in the world!” exclaims Arizaga. “They’re from a German brand called Gütermann and not only are they incredibly resilient, they come in thousands of colors. When I start designing a new collection I spend days playing, putting different colors together, to see how they’ll look.”
5. Skulls: “These are decorative skulls,” says Arizaga. “I have a bunch of them out when buyers come to the office. I think they help tell the story of our brand and set the mood.”
6. Tools: “I use these tools all the time because our first samples are all made in-house,” Arizaga explains. “We outsource our production, but everything is handmade in the U.S. and mostly in the tri-state area.”
7. Storage Shelves: “Above is stock and then on the bottom are current and old charms and rhinestones.”
Photographs By Rolando Robinson