There are only so many strangers one can have passing through their condo building, says jewelry designer Karen Lazar, “before your neighbors want to kill you.”
Which is why the Los Angeles–based designer recently debuted an atelier in the heart of tony L.A. neighborhood Brentwood: “I was literally working out of my condo,” she adds, “and it was time to get out.”
Lazar’s new, second-floor space resides in a renovated office park in Brentwood Village and is a handy location for her clientele, which includes big celebrities (Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, and Reese Witherspoon are fans) and affluent Angelenos who reside in Brentwood and its adjacent neighborhoods, including Pacific Palisades and Beverly Hills.
But Lazar’s beaded, 14k gold fill and sterling silver bracelets—the brand’s calling card—are certainly gaining ground beyond SoCal. It’s not difficult to see why.
Design-wise, they hit a powerful sweet spot; they’re versatile and unobtrusive and can be dressy or dressed-down. They look amazing with a watch or in a stack, and they can feel both bohemian and classic.
Lazar chalks up the bracelets’ popularity to being “affordable and easy-to-wear,” and adds, “The line also gives women that opportunity for a quick fix—something new and shiny that you can add to your existing collection.”
Prices for bracelets range from $45 for a simple, 2mm beaded style in silver or 14k gold fill, to $495 for an 8mm gold fill beaded bracelet featuring diamonds and moonstones.
Because the idea of precious metal beaded bracelets is fundamentally simple (albeit brilliantly so), Lazar says she’s currently working on a design that’s more signature and, therefore, less easy to knock off.
“You do see a lot of copies out there,” she says. “But then you see that the quality of other bracelets is very different. I’m not sitting there beading the bracelets myself. I have professional beaders working for me.”
Her by-appointment-only boutique-cum-atelier, where her beaders now work, is a two-room space that contains an office and showroom. Clients enter the latter and sit down to peruse acrylic trays of jewelry, sorted by size and type. “I think it’s a really comfortable space,” Lazar notes. “And I’m glad to have my condo back.”
(Image: 2mm yellow gold fill bracelet by Karen Lazar, $140)