La Vita Vital, a by-appointment jewelry workshop that operated in Downtown Los Angeles’ jewelry district for decades, has decamped to L.A.-adjacent Orange County.
Founder Al Baca moved his business last month to Irvine, the commercial hub of the affluent county, to be closer to his home in Laguna Nigel, Calif.—and his clients.
“I wanted to be closer to home and have more time with my family,” the jeweler said in a statement. “And the other [reason] was that my son, Auston Baca, gave me the idea to go directly to the consumers, [who] are really based here in Orange County. The location is perfect.”
The jeweler has been creating custom pieces for 33 years and frequently creates pieces for established retailers. Every piece produced by the workshop begins with a sketch and is then rendered and fabricated using both traditional and digital technology, including CAD.
The firm, like many jewelers based in Los Angeles’ historic jewelry district, is known for fabricating high-quality pieces at breakneck speeds. The workshop can produce a custom piece, from sketch to completion, in as little as three days.
Before moving to Orange County, La Vita Vital was housed in a historic building on Hill Street in the heart of the city’s jewelry district, which is the biggest jewelry district in the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau.
A 2016 Los Angeles Times article detailed the plight of many of the district’s oldest jewelers, who’ve shuttered or at the very least been challenged by spiking rental costs—a byproduct of the neighborhood’s ongoing gentrification.
Al started his career with a Swiss company based in the district, where he specialized in cutting rare stones. The jeweler went out on his own in 1992 and has worked with private clients and as a contractor for luxury retailers all over the world since.
(Top image: The outside of La Vita Vital’s new salon in Irvine, Calif.; courtesy of La Vita Vital)