We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Westerband and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, how does your business help the community or world?
We believe in reciprocity – without the community and the world we wouldn’t be anywhere, so it’s our duty to give back! At Timelaspe Co., giving back has been a part of our company’s core values from the very beginning, and we’ve tried to integrate aspects of our values into all areas of the business, from how we operate to the materials we use in our products. The foundation of our business revolves around a type of up-cycling, and we’re very proud of that fact. For instance, our watch movement-based designs which we really became known for have always revolved around utilizing seemingly unwanted, used movements which we take and repurpose to give them a second life instead of trashing the environment. Our movements collections utilize vintage and antique watch movements, sometimes over a 100 years old, that otherwise would be left unappreciated and unused as functioning timepieces. Yet, these gorgeous movements actually represent countless man hours in terms of engineering and design that we try to bring to the forefront for our customers and the world to appreciate. This keeps thousands of pieces of art out of landfills and instead allows their beauty to live on. Aside from just the core movements, the metals we use are also repurposed industrial precious metals that are refined to recast to the highest quality, reducing the amount of new metals that need to be mined. This is all done locally too, here in Downtown Los Angeles. While it may be more expensive for us to produce our products locally here in the USA rather than buying and manufacturing our pieces overseas in other countries, we feel that the benefits seen through reduced environmental impact and domestic production are more than worth the additional costs. Also, the packaging materials we use for shipping are completely recyclable, which further reduce our long term footprint. But since we acknowledge that packaging materials are made from paper and of course you have to first cut down a tree to create any sort of paper products, we have partnered with an amazing non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, to plant a tree for every sale we make and reduce the impact along our supply chain. We don’t just donate too, we actually participate in the planting events ourselves since planting trees is pretty fun!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Inspiration for our jewelry really comes from all over. While all of our collections feature central themes that tie all of the pieces together, some pieces take it a step further and are designed from the center outward, while others are designed from the ground up. Ultimately, all of our pieces are designed with a modern edge to them, which is really in line with who we are as a company and maintains our products as authentic representations of our brand. This is what’s really exciting – designing pieces that feel right and convey the feelings that we can’t really express with words alone. When we approach a new design project, this concept is really the heart and base of the project, since our products are quite literally little pieces of wearable art. It’s not always easy getting the feeling right the first time with any design, but as we continue to progress and continue to create, we continue to grow. And continually growing not only as a brand but also as people constituting the team behind brand is really important for us. But personal and professional growth doesn’t come easy, and it’s not always completely rosey. There have been incredibly glamorous times, but also challenging times, which we’ve experienced more recently along with so many others in this Covid-plaugued world today. But one thing we’ve certainly learned is the importance of perseverance and seeing things through. There’s the old saying that when the going gets tough the tough get going, and I think it’s rather apt for today’s circumstances. But nevertheless, our brand will persevere since perseverance is honestly at the core of what our brand stands for – truly timeless pieces for the contemporary individual. We know we can’t be everything for everybody, and we don’t aim to be, but for the right person it’s a right fit.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
You know, what’s so great about Los Angeles compared to some other big cities across the US is that’s it’s really not just one city. It’s made up of so many different areas that are a distance away that you can sometimes feel like you’re in an entirely different state. I mean, where else can you be where you can surf in the morning and go skiing in the mountains in the afternoon if you really wanted to? It’s possible when you’re living in Los Angeles 😉 But honestly, I think each place around the city is special. From the beaches on the west side where you can take a bike ride for miles along the coast, to hitting Spire 73 in downtown for cocktails and a view as far as the eye can see, LA has so much to offer. Of course there’s not quite as much going on as the moment as last year for obvious reasons, but it will all come back with a vengeance in time!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To all of our customers and supporters who’ve helped us along this incredible journey of building a brand (we’re doing this for you!), to all of our design partners and collaborators who continually inspire us to push the boundaries creating new and novel designs, to our amazing corporate partners who not only push us to keep going through thick and thin and have become more than just business partners but friends (hey, Tash!), to our friends and family who support us with enduring love and inspire us to do what we do. and to all of our team members who really do the hard work of making things happen and make it all possible – THANK YOU!
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