Kristen Hawkes, Designer
My childhood in Marin County, California, in the '60s and '70s was a memorable and inspiring time. Raised by two artistic parents, I have been drawn to the creative process in both life and career ever since. Over the years, studies, work and play led me to live in various cities and towns throughout the United States and Europe. Looking back, my career has been a diverse and ever changing path that I feel ultimately led to lelamooi. Travel has been a large part of my creative process and personal growth and will continue to be.
I currently reside in Santa Barbara, California with my husband and two daughters.
lelamooi - pronounced “lay-la-moy” - is a name meant to capture the essence of our specialty handmade pieces.
Lela is a Sanskrit word that translates as "divine play”. Our hope is to capture this essence of joy and the signs that lead to it, reminding the wearer to align with their personal truth.
The word mooi means "beautiful" in both Croatian and Dutch. Our jewelry is designed to be small energetic pieces of art, its individual beauty drawing the person who was intended to wear it. Croatia is a part of my personal heritage that I feel divinely connected to. Amsterdam is a city where I grew personally and creatively in a way that changed the trajectory of my life.
The lelamooi symbol is a rose, a flower very close to my heart. I live in a home with a beautiful rose garden I admire every day. It reminds me of the stories of my Croatian great-grandfather, a true Renaissance man. After many years of travel, running restaurants, raising a family and ultimately getting caught for bootlegging, fate led him to become a rose gardener at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. My husband and I chose Rose as the middle name of our youngest daughter.
The business of lelamooi brings together a passion for creativity and fine art, a love of life’s mysteries and a desire to serve others. All gemstones are chosen for their beauty and special energy powers. We carefully purchase from the most reputable suppliers in the business.
At lelamooi a lot of love and detail goes into each piece, from the first sketch to the final polish. We deliberately partner with eco-conscious gem suppliers and old-world inspired master metalsmiths, who support the lelamooi vision. From our hands to yours, it’s all about good vibes!
lelamooi is a true collaboration. I feel grateful to be supported by a group of talented and inspiring individuals, starting with my metalsmiths, Jimi Fortune and Steve Godwin. Finding Fortune and Godwin was divine intervention at its best! Every piece of our jewelry is individually hand-crafted in Northern California by these gifted artisans and their team.
lelamooi is committed to donating 10% of all sales profits to our favorite charities; Friends of the Earth, One Tree Planted & Surfrider Foundation.