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Arts & Culture

The Best in Local Jewelry

Colorful branches festooned with ornaments are currently the centerpiece in my bedroom. No, I’m not overly jolly (or massively lazy) – it’s a display rack scored from an IKEA sale I use to keep my most beloved baubles in check. My favorites? They’re local, meaning you can give back to the community while making a statement year round. Below, a few to keep an eye on.

Micha Design

She may have recently decamped for L.A., but Micha Kuechenhoff, the designer behind Micha Design, got her start in San Diego. Her bespoke-badass designs have garnered comparisons to Tom Binns and sparkled on the lovely limbs of Jessica Simpson and Ashley Greene, and are also totally wearable for the rest of us non-celebs. Find ‘em at local boutiques Ashen, Capricorn and on Etsy.


Dear Cora

Designer Athena Toner will never reveal the design process behind her recycle-chic accessories line Dear Cora, which favors newsprint and found images over bling. Standouts include highlighter-hued wrist cuffs featuring clips from The New York Times (the perfect gift for a journalist friend) and feathered accessories that, despite the trend’s ubiquity, seem fresh.

Uniek Design by Georgia Trevino

This multi-talented 22-year-old is finishing up her Applied Design BFA at SDSU while garnering buzz in the cross-border art scene – she recently was selected by the Tijuana Children’s Museum to contribute to a mobile exhibit, and her eponymous line of bijoux, Uniek by Goergia Trevino, is as refreshing as her artistic aesthetic (think rings that employ repurposed glass from car accidents and intricate metalwork). She’s currently accepting email requests for custom pieces, and has plans to open an Etsy store very soon.

Noon Design


Besties Maie Webb and Nora Farrell met at the Rhode Island School of Design before heading west post-graduation to open Noon Design, their adorable Ocean Beach boutique. Their ladylike multi-hued Swarovski earrings and delicate necklaces are ideal for an elegant impact, and, if you’re in the store, check out their handcrafted paper goods for the perfect personalized holiday cards. They're on Etsy, as well.

Allison Neumann

Fancy-pants pieces that manage to remain simple and unpretentious. Allison Neumann’s Montana Sapphire Collection is ideal for big-deal occasions (prices start at $850.00), and rightfully so – the designer cut her teeth at Carlsbad’s Gemological Institute of America and counts 10 years of experience in the field. She currently works out of Barrio Logan-based art studio Glashaus – find her work at Capricorn and Robina Apparel and Accessories or online.