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Jess Hannah

Jess Hannah is a jewelry designer based in Los Angeles. Jess discovered her love for jewelry early on after inheriting a few of her grandmother's vintage pieces, and now creates sculptural, timeless pieces that reference classic works of precious metals from earlier eras. With the introduction of the J. Hannah nailpolish line now available at Shaina Mote, we caught up with Jess about finding balance and feeling centered in work, and her affinity for puffy shapes.
Shaina Mote — Jess Hannah

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

Every morning I walk around my neighborhood with my dog Ruby. More often than not I do this with my partner and it gives us a moment to connect in the morning before diving into a hectic day. When I do it solo it's very meditative. I try to observe flowers and colors instead of my phone screen. It feels very grounding to witness my surroundings at a walking pace, especially since I live in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, which is changing very quickly. It's an exercise in noticing.

Wellness has taken on a new identity under the millennial gaze. Usually, now it's employed as a justification for pampering, or a special purchase. I think if you need these things to feel well it accumulates to an overall feeling of lack. Wellness is best served when money isn't involved. Turn inwards to understand what your mind and body needs, it's a more enigmatic process but it's much more gratifying. A friend (Gloria Noto) recently told me "the aspiration to achieve balance IS balance" –– it's like a swinging pendulum, you don't ever stay "balanced" but trying to arrive at equilibrium is the important part.

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self? 

I like inflated round shapes. Things that balloon outward with a smooth, shiny texture, which you could probably guess from perusing J. Hannah designs. Our secret internal name at HQ for our Form Ring I and II are "little puffy ring" and "big puffy ring," respectively. During the development of new designs, a common revision is "make it puffy".

I'm attentive to color as a sensory prompt having a nail polish line. I've been immersed in a range of savory beiges for a while now (vis-á-vis Miso). More recently I'm dabbling in off-black and walnut shades — I'm not huge on true black so this is my limit for darkness at the moment in terms of hue.

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

My mom's homemade matzo ball soup. This is not something I make often, however, because the prompt is "healing" this is most definitely what comes to mind. I like it with carrots and bits of chicken. I feel comforted just typing about it!!

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?

At work! This feels a bit lame to say but I suppose conversely also a point of pride—it's a sector of my life where I'm very authentic and highly in tune with the choices I want to make. Life can throw so much at you where you feel unsure or lost, but I don't feel that way when I'm working.


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