Welcome to another installment of our blog feature, My Jewelry Box, where we chat with some of our favorite (and most stylish!) customers about their personal collections, their relationship to their jewelry, and their thoughts on adornment and the act of collecting.
Laurel Stearns, a Los Angeles-based longtime music industry vet and purveyor of antique jewelry, graciously hosted me in her incredible mountainside home and gave me a glimpse of her personal collection over homemade chai.
Laurel has been working in the music industry since she was a teenager and now runs her own artist management company. A lifelong obsession with antique jewelry became more than just a hobby a few years ago when she began dealing vintage treasures as Pass It On, LTD. Laurel views the two sides of her professional life similarly; whether it’s repping an indie artist or finding a new home for an exquisite old ring, for Laurel it’s all about spreading her passion for unique beauty out into the world.
Alexis: Hi Laurel! Thank you for the massive cup of chai!
Laurel: You’re welcome! I am not into the small cups. Same as jewelry, haha.
A: So, were you always just completely obsessed with jewelry?
L: When I was really young my aunt was an antique dealer, but she wasn’t dealing jewelry. She exposed me to things of quality though – the fine art, the valuable smalls, the furniture, all these things from other generations. She instilled that in me, when I wasn’t even aware of it, kind of grooming me to have that eye and that taste. As time went on, I remember being fascinated with the quality and the intricacy and the care that went into the jewelry, these things that were made with intention.
Anything that has real intention. That correlates to where I work in the music space as well. I’m not really into disposable pop music – I’m sure there’s great disposable pop music – but I’m always looking for the artist that really has something to say. It’s the same for me with jewels.
Also, whatever period it’s from - Georgian, Victorian, Roman, whatever - there are time markers, with the style and materials, you can tell when they are from. Same with a song, they have these time markers, and those things define history, these cultural signifiers. These pieces tell a story.
These pieces are so moving for me. It’s the same as listening to a great song, when you lose yourself and you’re just IN the song, like you’re just IN Bohemian Rhapsody, I mean, still today that song is resonating throughout the world for people. I feel the same way when I’m in the presence of an incredible piece of jewelry, just get lost in it.
A: I love that you just compared antique jewelry to Freddie Mercury.
L: Haha I think he wouldn’t mind that comparison!
So basically, when it comes to that sort of visceral energy with whatever I’m doing in life, jewelry or music, that’s what motivates me. If you don’t feel that energy, why do it? My duty to these pieces is to find the people who will love them. Someone will become the new custodian of this piece, and they will take care of it until it gets passed on to the next generation.
A: Is that where your company name, Pass It On, came from?
Please join us this Saturday to chat more with Laurel about her antique jewelry passion and shop her incredible collection of super unique, rare vintage treasures! Come join our vintage jewelry community (or as Laurel puts it, “get inducted into the cult – the benevolent cult - of antique jewelry”) in our Echo Park shop, 11am to 6pm.
LAUREL STEARNS VINTAGE TRUNK SHOW
Saturday December 15th
ESQUELETO Los Angeles
1298 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90021