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Meet Cindy Zell of WKNDLA in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Zell.

Cindy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started WKNDLA on the weekends in Los Angeles (this inspired the name) by making wall hangings out of brass, natural fibers, and wood as favors for the guests of our small wedding. I shared photos of them on Instagram and was surprised when people wanted to buy them! It all started because I wanted to make something special for our friends and family who came out to celebrate with us – and that’s the spirit I still hope to instill every time I make a piece for a customer.

Less than a year ago I shifted the focus to jewelry. I had trouble finding sustainably-made statement earrings that were lightweight and 14k gold-filled for sensitive ears. I was creating wire-shaped mobiles at the time so it was an easy transition into art-inspired jewelry filled with movement.

Has it been a smooth road?
Running a business full-time brings out every doubt, insecurity, and fear you’ve ever had about yourself and never knew was there. The hardest part is mental. It took me a while to get to a place where I truly believed in abundance over scarcity and learned to reach out for support. You’re on the own but you really can’t do it alone.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with WKNDLA – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My approach to jewelry comes from a background in sculpture and animation. It is my intention to create pieces that serve as storytellers and conversation starters while evoking a unique point of view. My hope is that they give the wearer the confidence to tell their story, encouragement to form new connections, and a reminder that we’re better together.

Because my collections are seasonless, they don’t launch according to the fashion calendar and the goal is for them to be timeless and made to last regardless of trends. I have been enjoying taking the time to research and explore each topic that ends up becoming my muse – my latest collection was inspired by reading classical Greek mythology. I try to notice interesting combinations of shapes and colors that I find in the little details of art, design, and nature.

I am the only employee of WKNDLA and proudly make everything by hand each step of the way. I cut, file, shape, solder, and polish every piece of wire and metal that ends up becoming a piece of jewelry so no two are exactly alike. I hope through the process to impart a spirit of the handmade into everything!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and there’s just so much to love about it. I love that you can find anything within an hour’s drive, from mountains to beaches, to literally any kind of food you’re craving. I love that it’s so diverse and yet there’s a very universally relaxed atmosphere. There’s something for everyone here, and you really can’t beat the sunshine!

Los Angeles can very isolating because it’s so spread out and it’s hard to gather people together who live in different neighborhoods because the traffic can be so daunting. It takes a little more work to stay connected here but I wouldn’t have it any other way – my friends are so important to me and I think it’s only fair to make an effort to maintain them!

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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