As a jewelry designer and business owner, Heather Pullis likes to blow past people’s expectations of her—including her own. From her first journalism job to a music-industry insider to her life as a mom, Pullis uses all of her experiences to create Heather Pullis Jewelry.
This California-based designer came into jewelry through a long string of career changes, which took her on a strange ride through rock music with the likes of Tom Petty and Courtney Love. Those experiences on- and offstage plus her own spirituality and edgy style is what now informs her newest collections, which she sells online and through her Costa Mesa–based studio.
“My jewelry is about empowerment,” Pullis says. “It’s about people taking their lives to the next level…. I want people to feel their best when they’re wearing a jewelry piece I’ve made.”
Her journey to jewelry started with a radio internship in San Francisco for an alternative rock station. Pullis says she went to college for journalism, and this was the closest gig she could find to what she wanted to do. That led to a position as a writer and editor at an alternative-rock magazine startup—and a fateful job with Geffen Records.
David Geffen’s work as a music producer and then with DreamWorks Records took Pullis behind the scenes of some of entertainment’s biggest moments. As a result, Pullis worked with household names such as Beck, Nelly Furtado, Lighthouse, and others. It was a wild ride; ask her about the time she had to pull a naked Courtney Love offstage at the Roxy—it’s something you don’t quickly forget.
At that point, Pullis had three children and she was ready to settle down, literally and figuratively. Motherhood became her priority, but that didn’t stop her from rocking a pair of black leather pants now and then. In fact, it was a fellow mom who noticed her style—layered necklaces, bracelets, charms with Catholic saints—that launched her then-hobby of making her own jewelry into a formal business, Pullis says.
“I had made some bracelets for my mom for Mother’s Day, and at that time I had a kid in kindergarten. Another mom saw them and started hounding me about them—she wanted to sell them for me,” Pullis says. “I told her I don’t do jewelry, [but] I finally gave her two bracelets, and she sold them. I gave her 60 more, and she sold them at $65 each. That’s when I said, ‘I guess I do really do this.’ ”
Pullis started doing jewelry shows at her home and making more pieces whenever and wherever she could. Kids are napping? Make some necklaces in the dining room. Got a spare second and you need the kids to not interrupt? Put together a bunch of bracelets in the bathroom. That’s when her husband told her it was time to get her own design studio.
“Creating and designing jewelry became not only my passion but my job,” Pullis says.
That studio morphed into a showroom, where Pullis meets with clients by appointment, as well as a virtual styling space. Pullis says she added one-on-one virtual styling during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to help her clients pull together new looks, and the experience has been so rewarding that she is continuing to offer it as a service.
“My pieces are versatile, so you can wear them as necklaces or double bracelets. You can layer them (because) they go from really delicate to really large,” Pullis says. “I love that people can enter the jewelry world wearing my pieces and grow from there.”
Top: Heather Pullis says her faith as well as her rock-star past within the music industry inspires her jewelry designs, which are intended to empower each client (all photos courtesy of Heather Pullis Jewelry).@jckmagazine
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