Esqueleto: Trinkets From Temescal Alley to Echo Park

Lauren-Wolf-portrait-683x1024Lauren Wolf, owner of Esqueleto, smiles broadly when telling the story of her recent expansion from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“After four great years in Oakland, we’re excited to have brought our brand to LA. Once again, we’ve found a unique retail location that we could not pass up. What I love about Esqueleto is how we integrate with the neighborhoods we operate in. When we opened our doors four years ago in Temescal Alley, the neighborhood was similar to how Echo Park is today. Everything is happening in Echo Park and we’ve moved in at the perfect time.”

 

Thrilled about recently celebrating Esqueleto Oakland’s 4th birthday, Wolf says that she had no idea what the business would evolve into when she first opened, and is overjoyed with what it has become.

 

When asked whether it was always her plan to open a store in LA, she says, “A 2nd location was always in the back of my mind. Our Oakland shop manager Alexis was the one who really put the wheels in motion. She kept telling me she wanted to move to LA, so we decided to open a store for her to run! There’s a lot of exciting things happening in East LA, so the Echo Park location is perfect for us.

 

“What I love about our brand is how we integrate with the neighborhoods where we operate. When we opened our doors four years ago in Temescal Alley, the neighborhood was similar to how Echo Park is today.”

 

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Esqueleto in Echo Park, LA

 

 “The response has been great. We decided on our Echo Park location because of its proximity to downtown LA.”

 

Esqueleto Shelfie
A ‘shelfie’ from the LA store. Ceramic dreams.

 

In parallel to running two Esqueleto stores, Wolf is the founder of a jewellery design company in her own name. I ask if doing both satisfies her creative side, while running a successful business. She absolutely agrees but tells me that she’s a little surprised to find the shop a better creative outlet than her jewellery line. “I’ve been making jewellery for such a long time, that it’s nice to have a different creative outlet in curating both of the shops and website.”

 

“Designing under my brand name is great, but the work can be limiting once you are known for a certain style and aesthetic.”

 

When asked what inspires her to create, Wolf expresses a love for the juxtaposition of urban environments and the natural world. Influences you can plainly see in her designs. She credits northern California for having endless natural inspiration to draw from.

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Lauren Wolf Jewelry

 

From the outset, Wolf wanted Esqueleto to offer an assortment of many different mediums – mainly jewellery, ceramics and artwork. She says, “I wanted to sell my work, but thought it would be limiting to myself and my customer base to stop at that. Having been in the industry for over twelve years, it was a no brainer to create a space that offers the work of so many talented friends and artists I have met over the years.”

When asked about her buying process, she explains very simply, “I would say about 80% of the work we sell is by someone I know personally or have met through the industry. We don’t do a lot of searching for new product. On occasion we’ll pick up a collection that has been submitted through our artist submission process.”

 “I would say about 80% of the work we sell is by someone I know personally or have met through the industry.”

 

Though there are many spoils, Wolf’s current favourite piece in the store is an artwork by Patrick Dunaway called the Cottonwood Root show.

georgian-empress-diamond-ringWhen I ask what the most luxurious piece in her possession is, she says, “I guess I technically own this piece, but it’s in the shop for sale. This is one of the most amazing rings I’ve come across in the past four years of owning the shop”. It’s a Georgian Empress diamond ring, described on the Esqueleto site as “a rare and spectacular find from the early 1800’s.” The silver and 14k yellow gold ring features a 2.6ct old mine cut diamond at the center, crowned by 18 accent diamonds, bringing it to a total carat weight of 3.37. See it and/or buy it (for me) here. (K, thanks).

I tell Lauren that we are quite enamoured with the Esqeleto Stacks of the Week (as seen on social media). She shares our enthusiasm and tells me that everyone at the shop loves putting them together.

Among some very beautiful vintage pieces, Wolf names the work of these designers as her best sellers;

I ask if she’s ever been to Australia? “Yes! I love Australia. I’ve been to both the East and West Coasts of the country. Perth and Melbourne are two of my favorite cities”.

 

Shop Shop:
  • Esqueleto online Free shipping within USA, International shipping
  • Temescal Alley – 482 49th St, Oakland
  • Echo Park – 1298 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Get Social:
  • Facebook
  • Instagram & Twitter: @shopesqueleto
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