We had the good fortune of connecting with jennifer allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi jennifer, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In my other life I work in medicine. It has always been important to me to have a creative outlet and since the pandemic it feels even more crucial. I need time to escape the worry and stress of navigating healthcare and focus only on a single task, be it designing a pendant or soldering an earring. Banging on and melting metal is surprisingly therapeutic, as a result I find myself in the studio more and more these days. Silversmithing quiets my mind and lets me escape to another place.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started silversmithing about 20 years ago but only started Winthrop’s Daughter in the past 4 years. Turning my hobby in to a business happened rather organically for me. I started to make jewelry I wanted to wear and people started asking about it. I have always been very concerned about my personal impact on the environment. I take pride in knowing that all of my pieces are hand made using recycled metals and the stones are sourced directly from American mines. Although people are moving their businesses to mostly online sales I value being able to meet my customers and tell them the story behind the stone I chose or the design I came up with. My hope is that they will wear the piece for years to come so it’s really nice when you can share that with them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmmm, a week long trip to Los Angeles. I’m from the east coast as are most of my nearest and dearest so I try to show them all the most west coast things. In LA, I bring all my friends to my favorite taco spot, Guisado’s. Also I like to drag them to at least one farmer’s market so I can show off all of the beautiful produce we get all year round. Spend an afternoon in Malibu, dip your toes in the Pacific, hopefully spot a dolphin or two. Drive up the PCH and go wine tasting in Santa Barbara, eat crabs on the pier, bring my pup to her favorite dog beach. Then to Joshua Tree, the desert feels like a different planet compared to where I’m from. Experience a sound bath at the Integratron, catch a show at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My father was and will always be the most influential person in my life. He taught me the value of art and creativity and its necessity in leading a fulfilling life. But without the love and support of my husband I would never have pursued silversmithing as anything more than a hobby. He is always encouraging and constantly promoting my work to any and everyone that will listen. He comes to all my shows to help carry the heavy stuff and chat with clients. I will forever be grateful for the love these two men have shown me on my journey.
Photo credit @lizclayman