The ideal career is one that marries our skills and interests, and if we are lucky enough to find this career, our passion is often reflected in the quality of whatever we’re doing. A piece of jewelry made by Lisa Scala is a wonderful example of that kind of passion.
“My mom says that I’ve been making some form of art and collecting things from nature since I was a toddler,” says Scala, who opened Lisa Scala Jewelry, a retail gallery in Georgetown, in 2010. “By the time I was a teenager, I was planning to become a sculptor, but my dad suggested I try jewelry-making instead because of my passion for gemstones and fashion.” She even recalls the first piece of jewelry she ever made: a pair of sterling silver earrings.
Scala, a trained metalsmith, works with gold and silver, and many of her unique pieces feature gemstones. Her craft is inspired by the beauty of nature. “I love nature and have spent a lifetime enjoying its natural forms, both obvious and more subtle, [such as] the shape of a leaf or seedpod,” she says. “My collections reflect the natural world and its spiritual aspects.”
In addition to her focus on the natural and spiritual, Scala puts a strong emphasis on her own individuality as an artist and prefers to avoid creating pieces that stray from her distinct style. “If [customers] come to me because they like my designs and they want something that I can make, and I can be proud my name is on it, then that’s what I love to do. Ideally, I would just be making art jewelry and that’s it.”
One might expect that Scala, a full-time jeweler who has been recognized by prestigious art associations, might occasionally run out of creative ideas. But she says this is not the case. “It comes very naturally; I feel very lucky. There are more designs in my head than I can produce,” says Scala, who credits this to her enthusiasm for the craft. “I wake up every day to do what I love.”
In addition to a variety of jewelry offerings — including rings, earrings, necklaces, charm pendants, chains and more — Scala also works with healing gemstones that she says possess a range of beneficial properties.
“I recommend various gemstones to people who are looking for ways to make changes in their lives or achieve certain goals,” Scala says. “I’ve created pieces with stones meant to provide protection, positive energy and personal strength, to name a few. It’s easy to incorporate the healing power of gemstones into your life if you can do it by wearing jewelry you love.”
When the pandemic arrived, Scala wanted customers to continue to experience the “calming and healing” atmosphere of her shop, which also features essential oils and, of course, gemstones. A desire to share this healing vibe led to the creation of Goddess Boxes: seasonal subscription boxes that feature handmade jewelry, healing crystals and self-care items — all relating to what Scala has developed in her store over the years. The jeweler is also planning “Goddess Nights,” when people would be able to visit the store and connect with like-minded members of the community. “This isn’t just about a pretty piece of jewelry,” Scala says. “This is my passion to heal, connect and include people.”
As we prepare to put 2021 in our rearview mirror, Scala is looking forward to growing the “art jewelry” aspect of Lisa Scala Jewelry, personally creating more one-of-a-kind pieces and collections, expanding her team of jewelers, and spreading positivity through her passion.
“I won’t make a piece of jewelry if I’m not in a good headspace because I truly feel that my energy can be put into a piece of jewelry,” she says. “I want it to be everything I put into it, the customer can feel it, and I want that to be positive.”
Lisa Scala Jewelry