The stars aligned for our new Beyond Yoga x Maya Brenner Zodiac Collection. The collection, which features iridescent designs inspired by each sign, includes gorgeous celestial jewelry by the one and only Maya Brenner. The California designer is infamous for her classically simple, yet whimsical creations (and a long list of celebrity clientele!) We recently had a chance to chat with Maya about her jewelry design process and her inspiration for the exciting collaboration.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW DESIGNING JEWELRY WAS YOUR CALLING?
MB: I worked as a social worker in New York City with substance abusing adolescents. I couldn’t afford any of the gorgeous jewelry I was seeing everywhere, so I just started playing around and creating a few things for myself. I sold a few pieces to a store and eventually a sales rep found me through that. More stores, trunk shows, weekend flea markets etc…and my business just started to grow organically. I still had my full time social work job for the first year that I started the business and then went part-time and finally quit once I no longer had the time to do both. I knew it was for me because I was just so obsessed with jewelry. I still am 20 years later!
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
MB: I usually don’t pay too much attention to trends. I like to focus on what I want to wear or what’s missing in my jewelry wardrobe. If I have an upcoming event or an outfit that needs a little something extra, I’ll create a piece that I’d want to pair it with. Recently, I was noticing all of the gorgeous ear bars out there. I wanted to try the trend out, so I made my own and then added it to my line. We also pay attention to what people are asking for. We have very passionate customers and they pushed hard for birthstones so we added them to our personalized letter collection.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC?
MB: Casual chic. Feminine bohemian with an edge. I always like to say I have a French girl trapped inside me because I’m a total francophile when it comes to design and style.
HOW DOES BEING A CALIFORNIA NATIVE IMPACT YOUR STYLE?
MB: Growing up in Berkeley gave me the boho side and then NYC added the edgy chic side. Like my jewelry, I think my personal style has a sense of surprise or whimsy. I will always mix prints or throw on a leopard belt with a red shoe for fun.WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS, FROM CONCEPTION TO PRODUCTION?
MB: I will start with the inspiration of what I want to design. Tear sheets, Pinterest, sketches, old vintage pieces… and then, because I’m not a metal smith myself, I will either have a CAD design made or work with one of my bench jewelers to create my vision.
WHO WAS THE FIRST CELEB YOU SPOTTED WEARING ONE OF YOUR DESIGNS?
MB: The first huge celebrity at the time was Demi Moore. She had just married Ashton Kutcher and she wore my jewelry on her honeymoon. Those pictures were everywhere and it was super exciting to see!
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR HOME DECOR LINE, MAYA BRENNER HOME?
MB: Our most popular jewelry designs are our personalized collections of Letters and States. It just made sense that what people want to wear is what they want to see as a reflection of their own style at home, as well. It’s also a way to share my designs with not just the women and moms that have made it so popular, but the whole family. My home, which I bought with my boyfriend a few years ago, is a true reflection of our life together. It’s versatile and eclectic—just like my jewelry.
MB: I got an early sneak peek of what the leggings would look like. I loved all the celestial images so I took my favorite shapes (crescent moon, stars, circles) and designed the collection around those. And the moonstone studs were inspired by the iridescent color shown throughout. I love this collection so much because it’s truly our Maya Brenner aesthetic, but in affordable sterling silver and gold vermeil.
AND FINALLY, WE HAVE TO KNOW… WHAT’S YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?
MB: I’m a Gemini. But people always tell me I’m not a typical one, so I tend to think I’m more like my rising which is Aquarius.