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LA-Based Designer Jess Hannah Makes Minimalism Luxurious With J. Hannah Jewelry

Dana Boulos/J. Hannah Jewelry

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Amidst an ever-changing jewelry landscape and an oversaturation of impersonal pieces without a message, J. Hannah Jewelry stands out like a shining, hopeful beacon, calling us home with simple, clean silhouettes and a reverberating significance. Designer Jess Hannah imbues her line with an abundance of creative care and history, carried over from a love of fine, well-crafted, and elegant jewelry that began with pieces inherited from her grandmother. Her brand's message? Jewelry should inspire a connection for the wearer, and the right pieces are meant to be lived in.

Proudly conscientious when it comes to sustainability and fair environmental practices (not to mention quality), the J. Hannah collection features recycled 14kt gold, conflict-free diamonds, and ethically sourced gemstones. Working out of her studio in DTLA, complete with kitty cat on hand, Jess whips up inspiring and covetable spartan-turned-sexy pieces (with accessible price points to boot) guaranteed to occupy a permanent spot in your accessories rotation, and she was kind enough to let us pick her brain about her brand and what's on her creative horizon.

You’re the reigning queen of the must-have piece.  What elements are found in jewelry that someone wants to wear every day?

Comfort and quality are my brand's core values. I personally like a piece that doesn't need to be futzed with all the time, and if I happen to fall asleep in it - I will still be alive in the morning. Quality is also key, I like to focus on craftsmanship and fine materials. My pieces are always solid, never plated. You don't want to save up for a piece only to find out that it turns your finger green or you're allergic to it.

What gemstones are on-trend right now?

On-trend? I've been seeing a lot of opals and pearls on the market. I try not to follow trends though. A lot of my pieces are made with diamonds (conflict free of course!), not just because they are GORGEOUS but out of practicality as well. Diamonds are the hardest stone. I'm really into rose cut diamonds as you can see from a lot of my pieces. They are flat on the bottom and the top is faceted like a rose. They are a bit hard to find and I've been told by people in the jewelry district that it's because they are a thing of the past, but maybe that just makes me love them even more.

Can you pick a current favorite piece from your collection?

My Grande Balance Necklace is a current fave. An enlarged and more prominent version of our best seller, this piece is meant to keep the ethos of my line as a signature item that can be worn daily, while making a minimalist’s version of a statement.

What piece of jewelry do you never take off?

I have quite a few piercings and like to wear mix-matched studs. Studs are easy because you can just pop them in and they become a part of you, you really never do take them off. I'm currently wearing the Leda Stud on my right mixed with the Astra Stud, and the Balance Stud and Winden Jewelry Hashtag earring on my left.

What do you find inspiring about living and working in LA?

It's amazing to be surrounded by so many other creative people, from designers to photographers, you name it, they live here. I am highly inspired by the creativity and success of my peers.