We’ve all seen the craziness that is the Jewelry District in Downtown LA. While you can absolutely find an abundance of gems in this bejeweled haven, there sometimes lacks that personal touch a more intimate setting can provide.
Nestled away in the quiet Pacific Palisades is David Tishbi Jewelry, which showcases several handmade pieces featuring mixed metals, precious gemstones and more, all designed by the talented David Tishbi himself. His award-winning designs have brought joy to their recipients for two decades, and on May 13, 2017, he will be celebrating his one year anniversary at his Pacific Palisades location from noon to 4 p.m.
Feel free to bring the kids to the celebration, too! Tishbi will be offering ear piercing services with his virtually pain-free ear piercing tool. Piercings will be $45 if you bring in your own 14K gold earrings, and free with an earring purchase of $150 (or more).
The event will include a raffle in which the winner will receive a gift certificate for $25, $50, $75, or $100, which can be used until June 14, 2017. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres featuring Mediterranean plates, tea sandwiches, crudités, assorted desserts and refreshments such as mimosas from Thyme Cafe in Santa Monica will be served, and a portion of all sales now through May 14, 2017, will go to Project Angel Food.
Project Angel Food provides free weekly meals to men, women, and children who are battling critical illnesses. Each week, Project Angel Food delivers 10,000 meals throughout Los Angeles County. After looking for a new charity to support, Tishbi saw a story about Project Angel Food on Channel 2 News and knew he had found the perfect charity. With so many families in need as well as the incredible work done by Project Angel Food, he says it was a no-brainer.
David Tishbi takes great pride in his work, and is happy to call Pacific Palisades his home as well as his place of business. He’s no stranger in the community, forming great friendships and bonds with those who started as customers and became friends. In fact, Tishbi rides his bike to work and, perhaps the coolest part of all, he plays a weekly game of ping pong.
Tishbi’s store is like walking into a breath of fresh air, and that’s all due to his friendly, laid back approach to selling one-of-a-kind pieces.
Marie Tabela: Tell me about your first year at the new store.
David Tishbi: Oh, wow. It was an amazing year. It was better than I even thought it would be. We got much more exposure in this location, and people seemed to really like it.
MT: You were studying business marketing in Tel Aviv when you discovered jewelry making, right?
DT: I discovered the jewelry world.
MT: Did you have any interest in making jewelry prior to that?
MT: How did you transition from working at the jewelry store part time to wanting to learn how to make it yourself?
DT: Well, it was a process. I got involved in the industry but then realized I could do it better or differently myself, so I started experimenting, and it was fun! And people seemed to like what I was doing, so I kept doing it! Giving a piece of jewelry as a gift creates great memories for people. It stays, unlike something like chocolate; you forget chocolate. For the person who gets the jewelry and the person who buys it, it’s a happy moment. Now for us who make it, it’s not always happy. There are times when things go wrong, you make mistakes, you have to do it all over again, and it’s very delicate and has to be perfect. So it’s not an easy task to make a piece of jewelry, but then once we finish it and the person likes it, it’s so satisfying.
MT: How did you start making your signature spinner rings and what gave you the idea?
DT: I made them because I really liked what they were about back then, so I made one or two and got a great response. People loved them and it was different, so I started making more and more of them and now it’s a signature item of mine. People know me for them. They have a calming effect. People use them for meditation. I make many variations of it. I do a lot of wedding rings for people out of them, too. A wedding ring just has to be round. If it’s round, it goes! We can engrave as well.
MT: They’ve won awards, haven’t they?
DT: Yes! Three awards for two spinner rings and a spinner bracelet. The categories were Best Bracelet Design, Best Ring Design and Best Mixed Metal Design, because it was a silver and gold combination. The awards were by the JCK Group, which is an organization in the jewelry industry. Thousands of jewelry store owners vote on pieces that are submitted, and it’s very respected in our industry.
MT: How did you place and when were the awards?
DT: I won first place, and it was in 2010, 2012 and 2016.
DT: Thank you!
MT: What can partygoers expect at the celebration on May 13?
DT: To have a great time! There will be delicious food and drinks to celebrate. It’s a thank you to the community for their support. We are part of the community. We live here, we work here, we have fun here. I go to Gelson’s and I see customers we know and love. I like that, and I think this is a great opportunity to celebrate.
MT: How do you find the gems you use?
DT: Most of them I source through shows, like the Gem Show every year in Tucson. It’s the biggest one, and it’s amazing. I wish I could cover the whole thing! I usually go for a few days and just pick what I like.
MT: What’s your favorite thing about designing jewelry?
DT: The freedom of it. I can design whatever I want. I like the challenge too though. There is always a challenge when you make something new or create a piece. The process of making it is fun too – if it goes smoothly!
MT: What’s one of the bigger challenges you’ve faced?
DT: Mass producing. Keeping it consistent and making it perfectly time after time for each piece, especially when you do handmade jewelry, is harder.
MT: What types of metals do you like to use?
DT: I like working with metals like silver and gold. I actually like working with silver more than gold sometimes because of the properties and what I can do with it.
MT: What do you mean by properties?
DT: It’s softer, so I can make many different looks and finishes. You can shine it, oxidize it, make it black, make it rough, make it delicate; there are so many options.
MT: How have your designs evolved over the years?
DT: Some of the things I made back then, I still make because they’re nice pieces people like and they don’t go out of style. At the same time, I upgraded the collections, made them better, and improved the workmanship.
MT: What are some of the most important things about jewelry making to you?
DT: I like my pieces to be comfortable, so I learned how to make comfortable jewelry that you wear and it becomes part of your body. I always keep learning. Comfort, to me, is one of the most important aspects of jewelry making. I don’t like to see jewelry with sharp edges. Quality, comfort and sustainability are the most important. I use recycled precious metals and conflict-free gemstones, and everything is local. We make it here. Who does that?! I have some of the best talents and artisans who are just so skilled. They really are the best that exist. He’s one of them! [He points to Duka Maio, who is working on a giant aquamarine ring].
MT: Tell me about the services you offer here. Obviously, you sell your own jewelry, but can you do repairs as well?
DT: A lot of people have older pieces that are broken or can’t be worn, or they have stones that have been removed from certain pieces of jewelry and they want to be able to wear them again, so I help them make pieces. They have an idea of what they want, and we build around it. We do that a lot and it’s a lot of fun. And we are very good at it! We also fix broken pieces. We also do ear piercing and can host piercing parties with our virtually painless ear piercing tool.
MT: Can people only find your jewelry here or do you sell it to other stores?
DT: I sell all over the world. I narrowed it down, but kept some of the best ones. Throughout the years, I’ve made thousands of pieces that have sold all over, especially in the U.S., but I had customers in Australia, all over Europe, and Canada. I’m in Sundance Catalogue, but no department stores. Mostly I’m in galleries and independent stores. I focus more on making limited edition and one of a kind pieces now.
David Tishbi Jewelry
859 Via De La Paz
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272