Seana Pedelaborde and her sister Tara Brown have brought their Amano Studio jewelry company to downtown Sonoma. The wholesale operation designs and creates vintage-inspired jewelry that retails in boutiques around the country, and in Europe and Japan.
The duo has 30-plus years of product design between them, bringing backgrounds in anthropology and art history, along with “the aesthetic of our hippie parents,” to the trade.
As kids, the sisters roamed the hills near Calistoga, hunting for arrowheads and noting the nuances of nature. “We say mystery in rocks, flowers and trees,” said Pedelaborde. “We were always on a treasure hunt.”
Nowadays, the hunt is for components and pieces to use in creating their custom jewelry. “We are avid flea market treasure hunters,” said Pedelaborde. They reuse and recycle items, seeking out salvaged components and stuff no longer manufactured, the so-called ‘dead stock.’
They have also built a network of crafters across the country to cast, stamp, solder and set the new pieces they need. “We’ve been crafters and done hand work our whole lives, but we couldn’t do it alone,” Brown said. “Some of our production partners have been in business for 100 years.”
The designs — contemporary style that embraces a bit of retro – are influenced by pop culture, the natural world and fashion history. While many of their pieces are original, others are “recycled” designs, for which original molds and tooling is used to create genuine vintage. Either way, the names of some of the current collections, such as “Handcrafted Modern” and “Indie Tribal,” are indicative of the Amano sensibility
A wholesaler, A Mano Trading, home of Amano Studio, does not sell directly to the public other than via its website, Amanotrading.com. But the studio will open its doors for a holiday sale on November 24 and 25. Jewelry will be offered to the public at wholesale prices, generally in the $10-$15 range, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The location is 538 Broadway, Suite B.