Adorned // Maia Macdonald

Maia Macdonald is an Old Oakland neighbor and a creative powerhouse.  She is a graphic designer, photographer, Art Director at Rue Magazine, and has a mega Pinterest following of 1.8 million users.   Maia is a big believer in buying local from craftspeople and is enthusiastic about her adopted city of Oakland.  Let's just say we think she has a great eye, a open and welcoming energy, and a jewelry collection that is both sentimental and stylish.   I sat down with her to talk and explore what she loves most, the pieces that mean a lot and the ones she just plain loves.

MD: I was given this by my Mom's Mom.  After my Grandpa died a few years ago, she went through her jewelry collection among other things and decided to give some pieces away so that's how I got it.  It's made of turquoise, but it's so old now.  She and my Grandpa traveled the world, lived in Ethiopia, northern Africa, Europe... she traveled so much that she doesn't remember exactly where she got it.  I think it looks sort of Northern African.  

KE: Do you wear it?

MD: Not really because it's so old and fragile at this point.

KE: It also kind of reminds me of Tibet, like the cloud motifs.

MD: Yes, I would love to know where it came from.  It a beautiful way to be connected to my Grandma and her adventures.

MD: This is a Sarah Swell ring that she gave to me, I love it.  It's simple and edgy, and I like to stack it with other rings.

MD: These turquoise ones my sister made for me.

KE: Really?  Those are pretty, does she make a lot of jewelry?

MD: She used to make more, she's really creative, she's a textile artist.  She makes beautiful things, but she doesn't do jewelry as much anymore.

MD:  This one isn't really anything special except I just love it a lot and wear it all the time.KE: What kind of stuff do you usually wear it with?

MD: Usually it's something I like to throw on with jeans and a tee, sort of casual.  It's a great length.

MD: This is one of my fun pieces, because sometime I just want some super gaudy gold.  I usually go for more organic designs, but every now and then I just want some big gold to wear.

MD: And this one is another gaudy piece that I actually found at a thrift store.  It seems like it's from the 80's, I've had it for 5 or 6 years and it's really held up.  I wear it a lot, and it's sort of silly because it was this cheap thing I found at a thift store but I probably wear it more than most things.KE: Those are sometimes the best pieces, the ones that are surprise scores that grow on you.
MD: This isn't a super fancy one, but I love having a gold watch.  I got this for myself a few years ago.

MD:  A few years ago I was doing some graphic design work for Cuyana, and they gifted this to me.  The company they were working with in Argentina was making these, among other horn jewelry.  MD: This bracelet used to be my sister's, and I think she actually got it from my Mom.  I've always loved the texture, I'm not really sure how old it is, but I think my Mom had it for a while.KE:  Do you guys swap a lot?MD: Ya, that's the thing, especially when I lived closer to home, jewelry would kind of always be trading hands between the women in my family, until you kind of forgot who the original owner was.  I say that, until my sister comes to visit and says, "Wait a minute, I didn't know you had that!"    
MD: This is my engagement ring, by a designer that I actually found on Etsy.  I actually got to pick out the stone, the setting, the band.  It was a fun process.  I really love grey diamonds.

MD: I got these from Mashka in North Beach, she's a local designer who has a little shop.

KE: What was the occasion to get these? 

MD: When me and my now husband first moved here I was working for William Sonoma and I would get Fridays afternoons off, so Travis and I wanted to explore all the time and he would meet me in the city on Friday afternoons.  We were so excited to be here and just wanted to see everything, see all the neighborhoods.  So there wasn't really an occasion except just being smitten with the City.

To see more of Maia's work, hop on over to her amazing blog Design Conundrum. You can also follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook via @designconundrum.

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