Devoted to Nature, Family, Luxella Designs’ Ana Guimaraes Crafts Exquisite Jewelry
With roots that have grown throughout North America, the origin story of Luxella Designs is a true American tale. Founder and owner Ana Guimaraes was born in Mexico, where she studied accounting, eventually meeting her husband in Canada. The couple started a family, living first in Toronto, where Guimaraes studied photography. They then moved to Kitchener in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and eventually to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
A lover of the arts and an aspiring entrepreneur, Guimaraes began learning jewelry making with David Casella and at Silveraafter settling in San Francisco Bay Area. With a studio in Berkeley, Calif., the artist decided to launch Luxella Designs in December, proudly handcrafting her pieces in the United States with inspiration drawn from different regions of North America.
“In March, I decided that I have to have a goal. One of my goals during the pandemic was to start my business, so I launched Luxella Designs,” she said. “We are a NAFTA family, I always say. My husband is Canadian and my other two kids are Canadian. One was born here [in the United States] and I am from Mexico.”
Pieces from Luxella Designs are created using quality metals in bronze, 14- and 18-karat gold, and sterling silver, with Guimaraes opting for recycled materials when possible, with particular emphasis on this mission through her Modern Elegance Collection. This collection focuses on making jewelry through responsible sourcing and replicating the textures of different elements such as a coral reef, a strawberry or the forest. Other collections include the Star Light, which is inspired by snowy nights in Edmonton, Canada, which afforded the artist’s first experience with snow. The Modern Elegance Collection draws inspiration from powerful women, citing the beauty in strength.
“With Modern Elegance, I want my daughter to be inspired by strong women, and I say to her, ‘You can do everything,’” she said.
Luxella Designs’ Butterfly Collection is a homage to the delicate, beautiful insects whose migration has been similar to the travels of Guimaraes, as the family has traveled throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.
“I am from Mexico and the monarch butterfly is a statement,” she said. “They come all the way from Canada, pass through the U.S. and go into Mexico. The Butterfly Collection is representative of my family.”
After investing in herself through launching her own business, Guimaraes is continuing to invest in her family through collaborating with her daughter, Ana Paola, a middle-school student. The pair’s first project together was Luxella Designs’ Mother Daughter Collection, a fusion of their design tastes to create pieces that are meant to become family heirlooms, enjoyed across generations. Next, the Luxella Teen Collection saw Guimaraes affording great freedom to her daughter, who makes the pieces by hand, with the recent collection of earrings encasing gold leaf in resin with sterling-silver wire.
“My inspiration is always nature and my kids. The Mother Daughter Collection was designed by my daughter. After we made that collection, she decided that she wanted to make her own line,” Guimaraes said. “Hopefully soon we’ll have a Luxella Teen website.”
A firm believer in contributing to her community, Guimaraes is also working with The Practice Space, a nonprofit organization managed by AnnMarie Baines that works with children and adults to cultivate confidence through strengthening their communication skills. Located in El Cerrito, Calif., The Practice Space holds personal significance in Guimaraes’s heart.
“My older son was really shy and intelligent. He was getting bullied. We discovered The Practice Space Summer Camp. He is now debating in high school. He is not shy anymore,” Guimaraes explained. “The Practice Space helps through community enrichment and [supporting] underserved kids.”
A direct-to-consumer operation, Luxella Designs can be found at luxelladesign.com with prices ranging from $15 for pieces in the Luxella Teen Collection to $1,500 in the Modern Elegance line. As an artist who has lived throughout North America, Guimaraes is proud to cultivate her brand in the United States and has adopted the business mindset common to the country, which is particularly important when experimenting with more-responsible production.
“My work is sustainable, ethical and long lasting,” Guimaraes said. “I was really encouraged by how, in the United States, you always try to do things better. If you fail, it’s okay. You learn from your mistakes and keep going. I have really bought into that mentality. I am really proud to be making something here.”
Photos courtesy of Luxella Design.