Recently, founder Rachel Schostak, was traveling to California where she met local designer, Sonia Lub, who specializes in hand-made, elaborate "eco-chic" jewelry. We had the pleasure to learn more from this beautiful and talented woman as she shared with us her journey through her career path.

{SS}: Can you share with us your career background and how you got started?

{Sonia Lub}: I grew up in an extraordinary household, my parents being Human Rights Activists, Archaeologists, Multi-Media Artists, and all around Creative Visionaries, from my onset they encouraged to stay curious, think outside the ‘box’, and find ways to express my creativity. As an infant I began traveling the world with my family, and I have been privileged to meet and work with incredible mentors throughout my life.

{SS}: When did you start designing jewelry? What was the initial inspiration behind the first collection?  

{Sonia Lub}: I began designing and crafting jewelry at age six, and I sold my first ‘serious’ piece of jewelry at the age of nine… (A bracelet I wire wrapped with sterling silver and hand blown glass beads, at the Ann Arbor Street Fair in Michigan.)

In 2008 came my first collection, ‘Alchemy Rox’… where I married semi-precious stones, seeds & crystals I collected on my travels, and put them together in imperfect yet balanced compositions to be worn as necklaces & earrings. The vast diversity of our mineral kingdom has always amazed me.

More recently I designed the ‘Rise Collection’ which particularly holds a lot of meaning to me.  In the summer of 2012 I spent a lot of time in solace while mending a deep heart-ache. There was a heat wave that summer with temperatures reaching over 100-degree for 8 days straight. During this time I stayed awake each night creating in my studio, and slept the heat of the day through. I watched five consecutive sunrises, and in the quiet and stillness of dawn, as I witnessed the Earth and all her creatures wake up around me, the Rise Collection was birthed. The top arch in the design symbolizes the rising sun. <insert photo here>

{SS}: Currently, where do you find inspiration behind all of your beautiful and one-of-a-kind pieces?

{Sonia Lub}: Wow, this is a limitless question…

I am inspired by; Humanity, community, nature, radical self expression, love & savage beauty.  I live by the philosophies of Wabi-Sabi, happenstance & the art of happy ‘accidents’, paying close attention to where objects naturally fall into place.

Learning that my jewelry has the ability to connect people with nature and their own inherent beauty is what encourages me to keep creating. It is perhaps my greatest mission to transform the common approach of the ‘mainstream’ fashion industry that tells people they need to be something ‘other’ than what they are, and encourage women (and men) to see and understand that we are valuable. Each human carries extraordinary inherent qualities that are unique and well worth cherishing.  May we transform our insecurities, accept and learn to love what we have, and understand that every life is precious.

{SS}: Can you share with us any lessons learned or business advice you have gained throughout your journey? (greatest successes and challenges)

{Sonia Lub}: The greatest lessons that I am always learning are;

  • Be true to oneself.  
  • Inspiration is something never to take for granted.
  • Ideas are highly perishable, carry a journal on you at all times.
  • Never make anything you don’t appreciate.
  • Guaranty your work, and never compromise on quality.
  • Respect the display, presentation is 50%.
  • An attitude of gratitude will get you a long way.

Greatest Challenges:

  • To allow myself in this busy world to keep nurturing my creativity & evolve and grow as an artist.
  • Learning how to release attachment to my pieces, because I put so much energy into each of them.
  • Remember that vulnerability, however scary, is your friend (and a very humbling one for that matter).  

{SS}: What do you love about your job?

{Sonia Lub}: I am a total nerd & love geeking out on stones & crystals, learning about their mythology and healing properties. I’ve built my studio to be a creative sanctuary so that everything is made with much intention.  I love working with my hands, it is my meditation, and is very grounding and centering for me.  I travel a lot with my jewelry, and connect with all kinds of people everywhere I go, experiencing and learning about different cultures & utilizing my work as a platform to bring awareness and raise funds towards issues that I feel passionate towards.  I’ve seen how jewelry and art can be a common thread that brings many of us together. I get to work with a mosaic of individuals, including; fashionistas, photographers, stone & crystal miners, geologists, humanitarians, event producers, graphic designers, painters, musicians, artists of all mediums, as well as appreciators of handmade art.  I have a blessed life! There is never a dull moment, and I am truly fortunate to be able to do what I love, and love what I do.

{SS}: In your Bio, it says that you have studied sustainable living practices in a village of India, and co-founded the Circle of Hope Daycare Center in Kenya. Can you please share with us those experiences?

{Sonia Lub}: Ten years ago (when I was 18) I traveled to Kenya to visit the Mama Na Dada Center of Kunya Village to teach art to children there. Mama Na Dada (meaning Mother and Daughter in Swahili), is an African non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by Joyce Oneko in 1998, run by and for African women to support the empowerment and opportunities of the African girl child.

Mama na Dada is committed to girl child education and women empowerment; sexual and reproductive health for youth; shared direction and empowerment; and sustainable community development, based on the values of teamwork, care and understanding, participation, accountability and transparency, equity, social justice and continuous learning.” (

In my two months in Kenya I had more than 400 art students, and soon realized there was a much more urgent and primal need to sustain life than I had originally anticipated. Many of the children who showed up to my classes and open studios were malnourished, &/or very ill… many HIV positive, sick with Malaria &/or Tuberculosis.  In this time myself along with 3 other women, (Jamie Rudofsky, Sue Bell, and Joyce Oneko), decided to pull together our resources, and establish The Circle of Hope Daycare Center, to care for the 15 most vulnerable and malnourished children of Kunya Village.  Circle of Hope is a place for children to come and be cared for, receiving 2 ½ daily meals, vitamins, regular medical attention, education, school supplies, tuition, books, uniforms, mosquito nets, bedding, clothing, baths, playtime, rest-time and art-time, and a lot of love.  Circle of Hope also provides an allowance for the women who look after the children, so they can further support their families.

Our intention has been to set up a sustaining structure to take care of these children for a long time, as well as serve as a role model organization for other similarly affected areas in Africa.  Over the past ten years we have increased in size.  There are now 53 children who are at the Center 5 days a week, and 50 graduates from The Circle of Hope Program.  The Circle of Hope costs approximately $2000 a month to run.

My parents always taught me that there is much need in this world, and if you have the ability to help you must. My world views had radically shifted in my time in Kenya, and I came home with a stronger sense of social responsibility.  I use my jewelry to raise funds and awareness for both our local & global communities.

Currently I am working towards the Relief of the Valley Fire, which recently affected my local community, leaving more than 3,000 people homeless. Now through January 1, I am donating 15% all my retail sales (both in person and online) directly towards Victims of the Valley Fire.

Although my earlier education was focused in art, after my time in Kenya I enrolled in the University of Victoria in BC, Canada, where I majored in Environmental Sciences, Anthropology & Religious Studies.

In 2007 I did a semester exchange program in Auroville Intentional Community of Tamil Nadu, India, through The Living Routes Program that brings students to eco-villages all over the world.  The program was designed for us to learn sustainable living practices.  Durring my time there I interned with a fashion designer named Uma Prajapati of Upasana Design Studio (  We worked intimately with women who had lost their homes and families in the 2004 Tsunami.  About 500 women crafted 5 million tiny Tsunamika dolls out of industrial cloth scraps, gifting them along with a small story card.  ( It is impossible to know exactly how far the dolls have reached, however through this unconditional gifting , donations arrived and Tsumnamika was able to provide livelihoods to the fisherwomen in 6 different Tsunami affected regions. It was a beautiful and inspiring way of rising from the collective trauma that was experienced in this region.

Through my time at Upasana, I soon understood that every individual has a choice to leave this world a more beautiful place, no matter who they are, how little or how much they have.

{SS}: Who inspires you in the Design world? (Or where does your inspiration come from?)

{Sonia Lub}: Inspiration is like spontaneous combustion…  I’m always uncertain how or when it will arrive, but I always know when it’s hit me. The phenomenon behind inspiration is that it can come from anywhere.

I am a big fan of Alexander McQueen, and his ability to tell such a distinct story through each piece. Each of his dresses brings me into a different time, place and essentially world.

 {SS}: Your secret to work/life balance?

{Sonia Lub}: I wish I could reveal a secret to balancing work and life but I am still figuring that one out.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to sometimes be selfish and pause whatever it is I may be immersed in, to take care of me. This is crucial.  I will find my visions are sometimes far too big to happen all at once, and learning how to accept their pace, while honoring myself within the equation, is key.

{SS}: What are your current favorite product(s) in your studio?

{Sonia Lub}: The most recent thing I make is always my favorite…

The kinship collection, and my recent copper bracelet collaborations with my father, Sonia with Sergio Lub.

{SS}: Are there any new collections that you will be selling that you are excited about?

{Sonia Lub}: Yes! I recently photographed and will be showing my new one of a kind necklaces… Many of these are created in spontaneity, from an ecclectic array of beautiful materials I have collected over the years, and are direct illustrations of cherished moments in time… It’s been super fun!

{SS}: Any additional side projects you are currently involved with?

{Sonia Lub}: 

Valley fire Relief
“Currently I am working towards the Relief of the Valley Fire, which recently affected my local community, leaving more than 3,000 people homeless. Now through January 1, I am donating 15% all my retail sales (both in person and online) directly towards Victims of the Valley Fire.”

UC Master Gardener’s Program
I’ve just been accepted into the UC Master Gardener’s Program, and begin classes at the beginning of January.  I am so excited to be getting my hands dirty, & playing more in my own garden; which currently consists of 8 raised veggie beds, 2 bee boxes and 9 chickens. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than growing food to feed myself, my family and my community.

-I am Campaign
Something I am very excited about, however still in its incubation stages, so I am not ready to spill the beans just yet… 😉

{SS}: If you were to choose THREE words to describe your products/brand?

  • Inherent
  • Empowering
  • Pure

Now onto your personal style…

{SS}: In regards to your personal style, do you have a signature accessory? (i.e. hat, bracelet, one of your pieces you always wear)?

{Sonia Lub}: Just as much for style as they are for practicality, I seem to always find myself in my cowgirl boots…

They are durable, and my go-to’s, taking me between just about every place I need to be; my studio, garden, out dancing, on a city date, to a friend’s wedding, etc… They are my go-to’s, and I wear them every season, for  just about every reason.

{SS}: A few items in your "Styleshack" A.K.A closet that you can't live without?

I love my fitted leather jacket! -Custom made by my friends at Mended Mosaic  

My Rais Case bag that is interchangeable between serving as an over the shoulder purse, and a hip belt. 

I never leave the house without an empowering necklace… Depending on my mood and where I am going, I chose a different stone to wear over my heart each day.

{SS}: Style Archetype? 

{SS}: Please pick your current favorite items on Styleshack? 

Copper Tide Bracelet Sonia Lub Jewelry

"Stonehedge Onyx" Gold Brass Earrings Sonia Lub Jewelry

Medium Gold Cone Deerskin Leather Earrings Sonia Lub Jewelry

"Graceful Warrior" Quartz & Black Tourmaline Earrings Sonia Lub Jewelry

Chaser Face Off Tank Guys N Gals

27 Miles Malibu Cashmere Fringe Poncho Guys N Gals

FRAME Le Skinny Sateen Knight Rider Skinny Jean SHE Stores

A.L.C. Alice Dress in Black Hersh's

{SS}: Currently, favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog?

{Sonia Lub}: food: "Lady Love Food"

lifestyle: "Block Shop Textiles"

fashion: "Mara Hoffman"

{SS}: Currently listening to?  

{Sonia Lub}: The beats dropping in the studio nextdoor. My boyfriend is an electronic music producer; Pockitz Sound.

I have a wide eclectic musical pallet. My morning's soundtrack has thus far consisted of; Lila Downs, Paul Simon, Glass Animals, Alina Baraz… 

{SS}: Currently reading?

{Sonia Lub}: Life – Keith Richards autobiography

{SS}: What do you enjoy about Oakville California? Any recommendations to a visitor?  

{Sonia Lub}: I live and work in the heart of Napa Valley, which means I get a lot of visitors, and I often get to play tourist in my own neighborhood.  Oakville is very quaint with a population of approximately 76 people, and a most beautiful scenery.  I am enveloped by lush vineyards & mountains, and surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the country.

A proposed itinerary for a visitor:

  • Morning hike,
  • followed by one of the local farmer’s markets, either Napa, St Helena or Calistoga (depending on the day),
  • check out Martin Design & Showroom in Downtown St Helena,
  • a daytime soak in the Calistoga mud & mineral baths,
  • and watching the sunset at Mumm Winery.

{SS}: Favorite place to eat (in Oakville and anywhere else in the world)?

{Sonia Lub}: Rutherford Grill…or head up a few miles to Himalayan Sherpa's Kitchen in St.Helena

The most unforgettable restaurant I ever went to was in Havana Cuba. I don’t remember the name, but it’s where they filmed the movie Strawberries and Chocolate. A rustic open entrance is met with a spiraling staircase, adorned in antiqued candelabras that have acquired decades of candle drippings. Well worn ballet slippers and other Cuban heritage items were carefully displayed on the walls. Aw yes, and the Cuban music.  It was a dream.

{SS}: Favorite place(s) to shop?

{Sonia Lub}: Farmer’s Markets (in every town), Martin Showroom (St Helena, CA), & Vintage thrift stores.

{SS}: When you are not at the studio, we can most likely find you….

{Sonia Lub}: Local Farmer’s Markets, HotSprings, GemShows, & in Argentina (next month).





{SS}: Words to Live by? (OR favorite Quote):

“Wealth is measured by one’s ability to sustain life.” – my papa (Sergio Lub)

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can SHOP Sonia Lub Jewelry on Styleshack!