We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra Hovel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Debra, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
EMBRACE CHANGE is a phrase that I live by.

To me it means that change is going to happen, whether or not we want it. I choose to embrace it and delight in learning new things.

Through my life I have done many things. many media, many ways of being creative.People who know me will attest to the statement that I am always busy. I do not like to waste time feeling blue or worrying about something over which I have little or no control. I choose to embrace the inevitable change, be nimble and learn new things so I may explore the future with joy and resiliance.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love shoes. So, I learned to make shoes. A few workshops here and there to learn specific skills, then many many hours and years designing and making them to become good. I made custom shoes for many years, but have been getting a lot of joy out of teaching sandal workshops. People love to wear sandals they made, unique and all their own. There is a real joy in fostering community.

I love fashion and have always designed and sewn clothes. Recently I started to really think about the waste inherent in the fashion industry and the mountains of vintage clothes and textiles I had collected through the years. I decide to start a collection of “Feral Fashion” using the textiles, most often hand woven or embroidered I have collected over the years. I wanted to create dresses that get these gorgeous pieces of cloth out of storage, and see them walking around town.

I love jewelry. A friend of mine introduced me to a relatively new product, precious metal clay, that offered a different way to make metal jewelry. I have recently been focusing on designing big, hulking bronze and sterling silver rings, b bracelets and earrings. I like jewelry that looks like it was found in a tomb, a pirate’s treasure chest or something ancient royalty wore. “Kiss the ring” jewelry.

Throughout my lucky life I have identified an interest, tried it, and if I liked it, plunged in head first to start developing skills. I am less interested in building another business than connecting with people, creating community and having fun learning. People in my community have been big supporters of my ideas of building community with maker activities and projects.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course they would be staying at our home at the Desert Star, a Class One Historic site. Built in 1954 it has been renovated but retains its original charm as designed by Howard Lapham. Seven studios around a shared pool, with our home in the former manager’s unit. So, coffee at home, then off for breakfast.

Cheeky’s for breakfast…early to avoid the line. Ordering Blueberry and Cornmeal pancakes with a flight of Bacon and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

I would take them to all of our favorite shops in the Uptown Design District- Shops at 1345, Flow Modern and of course, the Galleria.

Lunch at Jakes, Thai Smile, MidMod Cafe, or Spencer’s then on to Hedge, and all the artist studios and vintage shops on the same strip in Cathedral City.

Perhaps a sandal or jewelry workshop at Studio H, our studio, a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum and Architecture and Design Center for some inspiration. Kurt Cyr’s Mod Squad architecture tours are a given. Lots to learn in a jam packed 90 minutes. The Sunday afternoon jam at Melvyn’s is fun with real talent and lots of quirky performances.

We would dine at home with a group of friends. Dinner parties are the real Palm Springs.

Other days I would book a sound bath at the Integration, visit Idyllwild for lunch, hike some of the trails popular with locals and visitors, and make sure they drink enough water.

I think one of the best things about Palm Springs is that there is always something to do, and there is also the delicious opportunity to do nothing but sit by the pool and enjoy the views.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband Richard is my partner in life and business. His love, unflagging support and encouragement is the backbone of my life.

Website: desertstarpalmsprings.com, debrahovelfootwear.com

Instagram: @studiohovel

Facebook: Debra Hovel

Image Credits
Richard Hovel, Debra Hovel

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