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Meet The Restaurateur Uncovering Awesome Vintage Jewelry

Hand with three vintage rings on fingers Photo: @sarahhendler

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Sarah Hendler is kicking ass in the life game. The Los Angeles-based fine jewelry designer and curator was born on the Gold Coast of Long Island and lured out to the West Coast 13 years ago by her interest in film and theater. Lo and behold, Sarah ended up meeting her husband, chef and restaurateur Vinny Dotolo (Jon & Vinny’s anyone?), and she settled down into the restaurant business, having opened critically acclaimed Animal, Son of a Gun, and Trois Mec.

All fine and good, but Sarah’s a fashion enthusiast at heart, and her passion for jewelry and accessories lead her to designing her own line of fine jewelry and curating amazing collections of vintage and estate pieces (not to mention styling private clients).

She curated a small collection of David Webb estate pieces for Tenoversix in Dallas and her work can currently be found gracing Nickey Kehoe on Beverly Boulevard. Sarah is proof positive that a mother (of two) living in LA can have more than one passion and make it work. We just had to know a little more about why vintage jewelry inspires her, where she loves to shop in LA, and the cool pieces she’s picked out for clients.

What really inspires you about vintage pieces?

The craftsmanship. Every time period tells a story of skill, since the materials, equipment, and technique used was nothing like today. It is incredible how this jewelry has lasted and matured. It can mix with modern pieces and look incredible!

How did you get your start with curating collections?

I have always been a collector myself, and it lead me to talk to friends who owned retail stores where estate jewelry would complement their aesthetic. I was thrilled when I connected with Todd of Nickey Kehoe about the opportunity to curate an estate collection for the store. It was a natural fit for my brand. Todd, Amy, and their staff have been so enthusiastic about the pieces; it has been a great collaboration.

NECKLACES @nickeykehoe Locket Love. #sarahhendler #mothersday #estatejewelry #nickeykehoe #lockets #wearyourjewels

A photo posted by Sarah Hendler (@sarahhendler) on

Any really cool pieces you’ve picked up for private clients?

Yes! I had these incredible paste chandelier earrings. Also brooches! There was an awesome Scottish agate that a client bought right off my jacket. I love the hunt to find specific pieces for people. They could be looking for a special occasion in their life or because they themselves want to start collecting. I have such a blast putting the jewels in their hands; it gives them yet another adventure.

What are estate sales like in LA?

I have been to some in the past but really the new thing to hit up is vintage jewelry pop-up events like Hello Vintage or Current Affair. You meet the dealers and the inventory is amazing.

What are your favorite places to shop for clothes in LA?

I love RTH, Tenoversix, Creatures of Comfort, and the new Rachel Comey store! LA also has so much great vintage. I adore high-end vintage stores like Sielian and lower-priced spots like Jet Rag.