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OUR STORY

The Experience

ESQUELETO features a thoughtfully edited selection of handcrafted fine jewelry, artwork, and objects. With a commitment to ethical sourcing, sustainable practices, and supporting creative and talented independent designers and makers, ESQUELETO is a destination for the most unique fine jewelry, presented in our casual, light-filled boutiques.

Our expert team is here to guide you through every purchase, whether it’s selecting a special gift, or a new addition to your personal collection, or a beautiful artwork to accent your home. We specialize in alternative engagement rings and wedding bands for couples seeking sustainable, out-of-the-box rings; we are so honored to be a part of your commitment and are here to support and advise every step of the way.

Every experience I’ve had here has been absolutely stellar…The selection is always gorgeous, the sourcing is ethical, but what really makes this store a treat are the salespeople. Highly recommend. -  Jackie H.

 I mean... words cannot describe how much I love this ring. It is my wedding band, and it is so me. I also had the best experience at Esqueleto. The women working were so helpful, kind, funny, and sat with me through my decision making. It felt good all around. So happy. - Erma K.

 The only store that I will buy my drip. The sparkliest diamonds are only outshined by the amazing women who own, operate and run Esqueleto. Hands down a class act. - Katie H.

More than jewelry sparkles at Esqueleto. Inside a tiny sun-drenched showroom, Wolf has assembled an eye-catching array of distinctive handcrafted items including custom jewelry, art, decorative objects and colorful vintage kilims.
- Los Angeles Times

OUR STORY

Lauren Wolf first opened the doors to the Oakland shop in 2011 as her personal studio, with a small space up front to exhibit her own jewelry and the jewelry and artwork created by a few of her close friends. Naming this new gallery ESQUELETO, which translates to “skeleton” - a nod both to her time spent learning metalsmithing in Mexico and to her penchant for casting bones, teeth and shells for use in her early designs - Lauren soon realized that there was a great demand for handcrafted, creative, ethically sourced fine jewelry.

“This highly curated yet laid-back art gallery and shop is where the desert meets the sea, and independent artists are celebrated for their unique individuality. Here, in the sun-soaked showroom, techniques and materials vary, but one common theme marries every object: They’re all handcrafted.” - AFAR Magazine

Since those early days in Temescal Alley, the company has expanded across the state and then the country, opening its second retail location in 2015 in Echo Park, Los Angeles, and launching our comprehensive e-commerce website later that same year. In 2018 we added a third brick-and-mortar in Los Angeles' Los Feliz neighborhood, and a fourth in Nolita, NYC followed in 2019. Our newest location opened its doors in 2021 in sunny San Diego!

WHO WE ARE

Our small-but-mighty team is made up of passionate jewelry and design lovers, led by owner and jewelry designer Lauren Wolf. Lauren discovered her love for casting found objects while learning the art of metalsmithing in the mountains of Mexico, and then launched her eponymous line nearly 20 years ago. Today, Lauren Wolf Jewelry, our in-house line, is best known for creating unusual engagement rings using ethically-mined, rare, naturally colored diamonds.

“What I love about jewelry is the tangibility of it, the extension of personal expression that extends to the wearer. And the three-dimensionality of it, the tactile part of jewelry. It's a miniature art form—you can take it wherever you want."

– owner Lauren Wolf on MEET THE JEWELERS

Who We Are: Lauren Wolf

In addition, the jewelry designers and artisans that we showcase in our shops are more than just business contacts: they are our colleagues, our neighbors, and our friends. When you purchase a piece made by one of our artists, you are purchasing a piece made with love and care, and supporting an entire network of independent artists and local suppliers. We are proud to showcase a diverse selection of unique future heirlooms that we truly believe in.

ETHOS

Investing in fine jewelry can be overwhelming, as the industry has roots in human rights atrocities and environmental degradation. Diamonds in particular have a long, complicated, and violent history. We acknowledge this, and we are committed to driving change within the industry by working with artists and suppliers who share our commitment to social and environmental sustainability. Sustainability is more than mere policy or procedure – it is our consistent commitment to better ourselves, empower each other, provide value for our clientele, and protect the Earth in the process. Read more about our company ethos here.

COMMUNITY + GIVING BACK

ESQUELETO opened in Oakland over a decade ago and is deeply rooted in its culture and community. We are proud to support causes close to our heart including We Wield The Hammer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute, Creative Growth, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and our five locations’ local food banks, schools and LGBTQ+ organizations. The only way for us to succeed is for our greater community to succeed. If you have a great cause that you would like us to know about, please contact us

WE WIELD THE HAMMER

NEST

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES

CREATIVE GROWTH

MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING INSTITUTE

  1. AUG 2011

    Lauren first opens the Oakland shop in Temescal Alley, as her working studio + a small gallery space

  2. MAY 2012

    enjoying lunch with our neighbors in Temescal Alley, as more small businesses move in

  3. JUN 2013

    our production studio moves into its own dedicated space

  4. OCT 2013

    we shoot a commercial for American Express’ Small Business Saturday campaign in the Oakland shop

  5. FEB 2015

    we create our first “stack of the week” - since then we’ve created over 400 stacks and counting!

  6. MAR 2015

    our e-commerce website goes live

  7. APR 2015

    our first ESQUELETO lookbook shoot, with photographer Ramon Felix and our favorite artist, Sophie Lourdes Knight, as model

  8. JUL 2015

    our first Los Angeles location opens on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park

  9. NOV 2015

    our first annual Good Karma sale to benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering

  10. MAR 2016

    our first print campaign launches in C Magazine

  11. OCT 2017

    our production studio moves into its own building in downtown Oakland

  12. OCT 2018

    the Los Feliz shop opens as a home goods only store, on a lively block of Hollywood Blvd just north of Silver Lake

  13. OCT 2018

    our print campaign launches in Vanity Fair

  14. MAR 2019

    the Los Feliz store expands its footprint to include a full jewelry collection

  15. AUG 2019

    the New York City store opens on charming Elizabeth Street in Nolita

  16. APR 2020

    L.A. manager Allison launches the beloved “Ask Allison” tutorial video series as a way to connect with customers while our stores are closed for the pandemic

  17. OCT 2020

    we raffle off three of our signature stacks to benefit We Wield The Hammer

  18. JUL 2021

    we open the San Diego shop just blocks from the beach in the sunny Crown Point neighborhood

  19. AUG 2021

    celebrating a decade of ESQUELETO!

  20. JAN 2022

    our print campaign launches in Architectural Digest

  21. JAN 2022

    our first printed catalog hits customers’ mailboxes

  22. May 2022

    our second full-length catalog arrives in homes

  23. SEPTEMBER 2022

    our Autumn 2022 catalog arrives in homes