Meet the maker and designer behind Lena Zaric Jewelry
As true of any artist, my experiences intensely inform my work. I believe this is what makes handmade jewelry meaningful: It carries the history of the maker within it.
My history begins in the Balkans, where I grew up in Serbia. I spent my childhood traveling around Europe and absorbing my homeland’s art and architecture, remnants of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. The flowing forms and profound symbolism that surrounded me sparked a lifelong appreciation for art.
After a few years modeling in Milan, I attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where I first fell in love with creating physical art forms, through sculpting, painting and drawing.
But it was not a quick leap into hand-carving jewelry from there.
Instead, I felt pulled to move to New York City. And for 20 years, I made the city my home. New York is as much an influence on me now as my formative experiences in Europe. In my early 20's I devoted myself fiercely to Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism which sculpted my spiritual path and my interest in esoteric practices. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I ventured into jewelry design—and Lena Zaric Jewelry was born. But looking back, it feels like all my experiences were leading me right to this place.
My work represents a blend of the spiritual with the aesthetic of the old world, inspired by my “cultural mutt” upbringing and decades of meditative practice.
Today, I live in a small beach town in North San Diego county with my two teenage daughters, who are my biggest teachers. I am a mother, daughter, lover, poet, yogini and a fellow human who’s dedicated to self-discovery.
I like to say I create with feral alchemy. Feral, like Lilith, who refused to be held back by expectation. And alchemy, a mystical process of making.