Laura Estrada
Laura Estrada is a designer and metalsmith based in Los Angeles. We are big fans of her eponymous brand, which features handcrafted, conceptually-driven, sustainable jewelry — as well as her approach to community, representation, and expression.
On starting the Laura Estrada brand

I am a metalsmith and jewelry designer based in Los Angeles.  My work consists of sustainably crafted jewelry collections as well as sculptural, custom one-of-a-kind adornment.  After earning my BFA in jewelry design, I had a number of incredible opportunities working for women in the industry.  With a deep understanding of the craft, a sense of the business side, a concrete work ethic and passion for sharing my story, I took the leap and started my own brand.  It’s certainly been full of challenges but I am profoundly grateful for the support I have received and the home I have found within the creative community.

On who she looks up to

The powerful women in my family, from my grandmother who fought for civil rights in the 60’s and taught me how to be independent, to my artisan ancestors in Guatemala, to my sister who is raising a beautiful child on her own with resilience, grit, grace, and humor.

On the importance of representation as a queer, WOC entrepreneur

I think it is so important for folks to see themselves represented in the public space, and through my work and my story, I hope that I am able to embody that and be a role model in my community.  With my platform, I’ve tried to create a place of intersectionality with art, self expression, and social issues — a place to share resources, engage, and be uplifted.  I’ve become really thoughtful and selective about where and how my work is presented.  Through constant collaboration with artists for inclusive projects, a real and diverse beauty is showcased through folks that can often tend to be marginalized.

On clothes and jewelry as powerful tools of expression

I definitely express my identity through garments and clothing as well as jewelry.  Along with supporting designers like myself that create sustainable and beautiful pieces, I love to thrift and find interesting pieces which I sometimes rework on my own.  I recently have been creating sewing projects for myself as a challenge for creativity and exploration of alternative materials (sometimes I need a break from metal!) I just finished making fabric from one pair of thrifted pants into a skirt, a corset top, and a bucket hat.  It’s a look!

What I wear on my body can truly encapsulate how I am feeling in that moment. It can act as a form of empowerment and a way to present my identity in the way that I choose to. For me, deciding what to wear is autonomy, it is independence, it is letting go of anyone else’s opinion and being unapologetically myself.

On what it means to be a Modern Citizen

To me, being a modern citizen means embracing your responsibility as a human on this earth through engaging in sustainable practices and being a mindful, forward thinking, nurturing force in your community.

Laura's Favorite...
Recently just finished A Little Life and can’t stop thinking about it
Anything cooked outside over a wood fire
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” — Maya Angelou
I love spending time in Guatemala, where my father is from
I’m a sucker for the Pompidou in Paris
Auctioning custom face pieces for social causes