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Life & Work with Johanna Lieberman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johanna Lieberman.

Hi Johanna, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am Johanna Lieberman, a Los Angeles based Designer, Entrepreneur and Healer and am very happy to make your acquaintance here at VoyageLA.

Forever interested in color, healing and design, I have spent my adult years studying several modalities of psychology and healing arts while simultaneously designing and creating. My deep desire to make the world a more beautiful and peaceful place inspired the interesting and exciting path that laid before me. Whether I was working on a visual design project for Terrance Conran, taking a Life Drawing class or simply making handmade holiday cards, creating spaces and works of beauty has always brought me sense of great joy and freedom.

A child in a family of artists, I grew up on the lakes of Michigan. There and on visits to the Caribbean Islands and the Gulf Coast of Florida, I became enamored by the play of light on the water and admired the colorful and patterned stones that lined their shores. A dedicated collector, I would polish and incorporate the stones into the jewelry that I learned to make at a young age. Years later, after moving to the East Coast and then to LA, where I worked in the film business, met my husband, and started a family, I began making jewelry again for myself as a means of meditation after busy days of working and mothering two young children. My designs soon became gifts for friends and family who in turn began to order pieces to gift their loved ones. Organically and without conscious awareness that my passions and gifts had come full-circle, Light + Grace Design was born and I embarked on a career of my dreams.

For years, I designed my artisanal craft from home and curated Pop – Ups and other events. In February of 2019, I was offered a wonderful Boutique Space in Culver City. Another dream come true, I created a silver walled beauty of a shop to showcase my work and wares of other talented female makers, entrepreneurs, and artists. Several of the women I invited into my space hadn’t yet properly shown or sold their collections of ceramics, illustrations, books, clothing, and textiles. Light + Grace Boutique became home to them. And working with, creatively coaching, and offering shelf space to share this eclectic mix of wonderful work made by these talented makers and artists soon became one of the greatest gems of my boutique experience.

Meeting and connecting with the lovely visitors I was blessed to serve and embracing the opportunity to offer healing and beauty to my new clients and friends became a daily occurrence that I quickly fell in love with. I would make jewelry in the quiet moments and enjoy the exhilaration and interaction of the busy ones. Light + Grace Boutique became a hub for the neighborhood, offering a place of refuge from the hustle and bustle of LA life, where a conversation, book or upliftment was always close at hand. At closing time, I would leave exhausted yet excited to open shop again the next day. I am deeply grateful for this experience, which came to an end in March 2020 as the pandemic swept in.

Currently working out of my Home Studio, I see clients by appointment, curate Outdoor Marketplaces and am involved in several inspiring + creative collaborations. One of them, Light + Grace Crystal Collections with Conscience, born of a partnership with a dear and longtime friend, unites my work in the arts and hers in philanthropy. Our mission to create gorgeous and meaningful Crystal Collections for those in need of well-being through rites of passage or challenging times fulfills our shared desire to help and support people as well as communities and organizations near to our hearts with a portion of our proceeds.

My online presence and reach have extended widely through the past several months, giving Light + Grace Jewelry the honor of being placed on the shelves and in jewelry cases of many stores across LA and the country with plans to soon have a presence in Europe and the UK. My brand, and my passion for it, have soared to new heights as, collectively, we move out of this unique and unusual time of introspection and isolation. My creativity and energy have been fueled by the pandemic, and the devastation it has caused has ignited a deep desire to share Light + Grace with the world, which now more than ever during my lifetime, so desperately needs it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Entrepreneurship offers freedom, independence, and sometimes, challenges. Ultimately, each obstacle I‘ve had to navigate along this path has contributed to creating the businesswoman I am and success of my business today.

The space for personal and professional growth offered by entrepreneurship especially appeals to me. I earned a BA in Communications and English and later attended classes for a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. While my education helped guide my journey and passions, when I started my brand I had no formal training in business or jewelry design. However, as a lifelong learner, I have relished the everyday challenges to find my way into business ownership.

One of the greatest challenges is finding and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Working from home this last year and a half has made it more difficult to step away from my work table and computer even when I have accomplished my prioritized tasks for the day. I do make time to meditate on and manifest a life where I can feel successful as a business owner, mother, wife, and friend. It is hard work to prioritize a self-care practice, but I have found it most meaningful and rewarding to incorporate that into my day. Taking care of myself and getting my work done has become an interwoven, organic experience. I surround myself with crystals and candles and wear my gemstone jewelry all day. Drinking warm tea and lots of water while working keeps me clear and focused, and listening to podcasts or books on tape keeps me company and connected while creating. When I allow my personal life and business life to flow and coexist rather than compete, I feel more balanced and at peace and my business thrives.

Removing a few of the many hats, I have been wearing has been key to finding greater efficiency and more joy in the process of running my business. I am a strong believer that success and productivity don’t necessarily equal hours worked; it is important and within my reach, at this point in my career, to outsource to professionals or hire staff or interns to take tasks off of my hands. Letting go and delegating ultimately frees me to honor and focus on my strengths. My current desire is to spend the majority of my work time engaged with gorgeous gemstones, designing collections, meeting and connecting with people, and collaborating with inspiring and innovative businesses, healers, and leaders.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Color and texture are the inspiration for my work. Energy and vibration are the heart of it. Similar to creating a warm and welcoming home with the use of color, texture, and light, my intention is for each piece of intuitively designed Light + Grace hand-crafted jewelry to include these elements in their aesthetic while evoking a feeling of connection, belonging, and well-being.

My clients appreciate the delicate simplicity of my designs, which often include a subtle sparkle and raw or wild element. One client says, “Johanna creates thoughtful pieces that are complex and uncomplicated at once. Her work makes me feel at home.” A sense of harmony and peace is at the center Light + Grace Design, which is then expanded upon by the unique properties of the selected sustainably sourced gemstones, each of which has unique healing properties that are known to balance the mind, body, and spirit.

A longtime Reiki Master, I connect deeply with the energy the stones and of the world. Allowing this universal healing energy to flow through me as I create is a blessing that I delight in sharing. When the vibrations of the gemstones and crystals are amplified with Reiki, the universally guided life-force energy, the effectiveness of the stone or crystal’s healing power is elevated, offering the wearer the experience of deep healing and support including self-love, peace, protection, confidence, abundance, balance, strength, and more.

Mindfully sourced from all over the globe and available in every hue imaginable, gemstones and crystals reflect the diversity and complexity of today’s world. Color and healing power are two of several considerations when I am searching the world to find the perfect stones for my designs. Clarity and vibration are also important as I commit to a responsible and intentional sourcing process, which supports artisanal and small-scale mining and cutting.

Beauty and style is always most moving and striking to me when organic, versatile, and a bit raw and wild. I strive to incorporate these elements in my work, resulting in effortless and playful pairings and layering options, which enable clients to collect over time and add to their ensemble or give as a gift with ease. Most of my stones, styles, and palettes complement each other, ultimately creating combinations that are fun, flattering and work well for various occasions. A dear client remarked, “I love Johanna’s simple yet sophisticated pieces, which layer beautifully and can be worn as effortlessly to a beach picnic as to an elegant dinner in town. Light + Grace’s healing gems and designs are perfect as a thoughtful gift for a friend in need of a little something to keep their spirits high.”.

I love to include elements from nature to inform my collections and connect the wearer to other times and places. For example, a Light + Grace bestseller, the Sea Shimmer necklace, takes the wearer to the shore for a glimpse of the sun dancing on the water. Wearing the luminous Moon Goddess Necklace offers the peaceful feeling of standing beneath the moon in a starry sky.

Creating an escape during the covid pandemic has been magical. The energy of the gemstones I work with inspired my dreams of travel beginning on the Greek Islands, followed by a trip along the Amalfi Coast, and most recently took me island-hopping in the tropics. The Corfu Necklace, Positano Wrap and Maldives Bracelets are some of the treasures born of these gorgeous adventures of the heart and mind, which I hope, in turn, transport and inspire those who wear them.

Inspiration is everywhere and I get so much joy from sharing and tapping into it with others. A favorite aspect of my creative process is sharing it with others and collaborating on designs. We may rework an heirloom or sentimental piece into a more wearable modern version of the original or design a perfect and personal gift. I invite anyone with a vision or who may be desiring some inspiration to join me in creating jewelry together. I also work in collaboration with Textile Designers, Clothing Designers and curate Custom Collections for Boutiques, Bridal Parties and Healing Retreats and Centers. Some of my favorite designs have come from special requests and creative partnerships. I look forward to sharing some great news about a few projects currently in the works!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
The first person to inspire my passion for creating art was my father, an incredible artist and filmmaker. He built a successful career from his first job out of Art Center College as an art director before becoming a producer and ultimately fulfilling his dream to be a film director. He always encouraged me to do what I love. And growing up surrounded by his art and creative lifestyle surely inspired my own. Wonderful friends have been instrumental in my process of building a business on my own. Longtime close friends and supporters of Light + Grace Design, Pam, Jenni and Rebecca in Denver have helped expand my reach in Colorado. My dear friend and soul sister and now business partner in Light + Grace Crystal Collections with Conscience, Beth, offered to host my first Trunk Show at her home over ten years ago, and some of her friends who came are still clients of mine today. My longtime and extraordinarily exquisite friend and Muse, Leah Mondry, whom I met on our first day of college, always encouraged my creative projects and efforts. During one of our last dinners together, 18 years ago, we enjoyed a conversation about me someday having boutique to showcase my designs. Soon after that night, she died tragically and much too young, leaving behind a beautiful young family. I deeply feel that much of my strength, resilience and inspiration comes from the beautiful light that she continues to shine down on her loved ones. My husband, Francesco, supports my endeavors, happily wears and shares Light + Grace Design, and lightens my load at home, allowing me to put in the hours that I need to run my expanding business. My children, Luca and Livia, the lights of my life, inspire me daily to live from the heart and with Light + Grace. They have been my greatest cheerleaders as I have built my business and are always willing to help when I most need it.

Pricing:

  • Rings $26-150
  • Earrings $48-300
  • Bracelets $38-500
  • Necklaces $48-700
  • Accessories $70-$300

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Alyssa Turner Ciara Hunter Morning Sydney Lark Eliot

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