If you’re looking for an accessories fix, then fix your sights on the lovely creations of L.A. based jewelry designer Nikki Montoya.


We predict that your inevitable crush will add up to being more than just a spring fling. Working from her cozy studio space in Silver Lake, Nikki crafts pieces of magnetic personality. She’s inspired by Pre-Colombian artifacts, Egyptian elements and her parents’ vintage jewelry from the ‘60s and ‘70s (most of which her Mom had designed and her Dad had made). She loves the tactile aspect of jewelry making, especially relishing the experience of working with metal, a process that is “instant and imperfect.” Her ever-growing portfolio bursts with delicate geometric studs and rings, as well as statement pendants.


A small journey of self-discovery led Nikki to finally launch her namesake brand in 2010. It was while she studied art at USC and worked in graphic design post-graduation that Nikki’s interest in jewelry making really grew and ripened. Though when she was younger, Nikki’s Dad — a fine jeweler — once let her sell her hand-beaded necklaces in front of his shop, he was reluctant to let her pursue jewelry making professionally because he claimed that working in fine jewelry was just too dangerous. Only after Nikki moved to NYC to take jewelry classes did he change his mind and call her back home to apprentice for him.


Nikki is all about simplicity with an edge. Her minimal pieces are the kind that invite mixing, stacking, and layering; the kind that lend just the right amount of glint to your ears and hands and the perfect touch to a worn-in tee. Nikki preaches craftsmanship, saying: “It is really important to me to make things that are going to last.” She solders each loop and clasp of her jewelry, so that you could wear your favorite pieces to death without once thinking of wear and tear. “Seeing a piece transform on each person is amazing,” she says. “It really keeps me going.” Watching someone enjoy what she’s pored over is just the best reward for all her passionate hard work. — Anastasia Kudrashova

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