You and I both went to the same art school in San Francisco. And for a while you did design work, yes?
I went for fine art and illustration; and was doing design work for years. I was an art director at Levi's in the early 2000’s. I also did work for the SF opera, the Ballet and the Symphony. My best work was for them (such great clients) and I had the opportunity to design some beautiful amazing poster art for them. Such a blessing.
I still paint in my own time; I need to have a show. It's weird, I’m very personal about my own art. I don’t put it out there too much . . . But when I think abut being an old lady, I see myself living in the country with a bunch of pit bulls and painting all day in a big red barn.
How did the original San Francisco BellJar Shop start?
I was working in corporate retail; I was married; I had a nice house a nice car; and yet I was drowning in misery. It just wasn’t me. I thought that stability and a “normal” life would make me happy and secure, but it just went against everything that was important inside of me. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was having a spiritual bottom. My husband and I split, and it was really difficult for me. I felt quite lost and heartbroken . . . and I knew it was an opportunity to make some huge life changes. A week after he left, I quite my job and started planning BellJar. It was half self-preservation – needing to stay busy – and half cosmic intervention – forcing me into a new path.
I always wanted to have a space that was beautiful and filled with all the things I loved. I can’t imagine anything else I was better suited to do. I’m a collector. I always have been. I grew up going to the Marin flea market with my mom. Our house was always filled with treasures. When I was a kid, my mom moved us to Marin so she could work at an art glass collective called Swallowtail Studios. It was a big barn outside of Petaluma with glass blowers, potters, stained glass makers and etched glassers. It was in my blood and in my soul to do BellJar. I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point.
What drew you to Los Angeles?
I came to LA to just get away. It's been such a great experience for me. I’ve been here for 4 years and have had the space to do some much needed self-work and healing. LA will always be, to me, the place where I found my heart and reconnected to my soul. Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone to grow. I still go to SF often, but for now LA is my home.
I know you love to just take off, and go off on solo trips. Where do you go?
Well, anywhere. But I tend to go back to the Sierras a lot . . . and Marin. I guess because they are the two places I feel most connected to. I go back and get grounded. I miss the forest so much being down here in LA. So I’m always looking for places that remind me of home. Idyllwild and Ojai have been two of my go to’s for quick recharge; and of course the desert. My Grandma lives in the Mojave. I’m lucky to have family in such cool places.
And where would you absolutely love to go that you haven't gone to yet?
Greece. I have always said, "Once I go to Greece I can die a happy woman." Greece has been calling me since I was a kid.