Neighborhood

Spotlight Series:

Maya Brenner

Maya Brenner Designs

 

Hello Neighbor!

 

I have many fond memories growing up (pre-kindergarten) and lying on the carpet in front of the TV in my childhood home, my unicorn (“Uni”) in one hand and an apple juice in the other, watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as my mom was in the kitchen either cooking or tidying up the house and my sister was at school. I LOVED everything about that show. Being that I was a very hyperactive kid there was always a certain calm that came over me while watching it. I loved how Mr. Rogers would get frequent visits from the postman and other folks in his neighborhood. At a young age this small detail instilled in me the belief that being part of a strong community is so important.

 

Flash forward to today, we are now lucky enough to have our office in sunny Los Angeles, which is such a treat! There’s so much talent bubbling in our own close-knit neighborhood, and in the spirit of Mr. Rogers’ spotlighting everyday standouts I thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of the friends in our Los Angeles neighborhood and give you a peek inside their creative worlds. We hope you are as inspired by these incredible women as we are!

-Laura ODell

Get to know Maya:

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you started designing jewelry. Where were you living when you founded your collection?

 

I was living in New York and had moved there from my hometown of Berkeley, CA to get my Master's degree in Social Work in the early 90's. I loved jewelry but I couldn't afford it on my social worker salary in NYC so I started making my own. I started Maya Brenner Designs (I thought the "designs" made it seem official) out of my studio apartment with a 3k loan from my grandmother. The State necklaces were designed when I moved from NY to LA and our Letter collection was born from having children and not being able to find a "mommy" necklace I wanted to wear. Both have been bestsellers for my company.

I'm still in LA and now have three kids and run my business in an area called Frogtown right around the corner from The Odells.

2. If you could only wear one piece of jewelry from your collection for the the rest of your life what would that item be and why?

 

It would be my letter necklace that represents all my loves... Jack, Sadie, Otis, a diamond for my sparkly business, and a heart for my love and partner in life, Dustin Lancaster.

Obviously it's very hard to choose so I might need to add earrings onto that since I never take mine off. I have four holes in one ear and three in the other!

3. Who's your biggest style icon?

 

Kate Moss. Her style is so iconic with the perfect mix of feminine edgy nonchalance.

4. What's your favorite cocktail?

 

Eastern Standard aka Eastside Martini. I first had one at Soho House 10 years ago and I've been obsessed with it ever since.

 

INGREDIENTS

2oz/50ml vodka or gin

1oz/25ml fresh lime juice

0.75oz/20ml simple syrup

3 cucumber slices, muddled

3 mint leaves, hand-clapped

 

GARNISH

Slice of cucumber rubbed on the rim of the glass and then place in the cocktail.

 

GLASS

Coupe

 

METHOD

Muddle the cucumber slices in a shaker tin and add the mint once you have hand-clapped it to release the oils. Add the rest of the ingredients in the shaker with ice, then shake and fine-strain into a coupe glass to ensure the cocktail is smooth.

Follow along!

IG: @mayabrenner