Meet the Ladies of NEWTWIST: Laura, Web Manager
With a background in art history, Laura has managed our website since 2015, and before that, worked at our Eugene, Oregon store for four years. Her photos can be seen across our online store, Instagram, and Facebook, and her creative talent continues to blow us away.
As the manager of newtwist.com, your incredible photographs and your keen eye for detail and design gives life and beauty to our online store! What’s your NEWTWIST story?
I started working at NEWTWIST in 2011, right after I graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in Art History. My coworkers quickly became my family and best friends, and I’ve been so grateful to work with such a loving, genuinely supportive group of women ever since. Everyone truly adores each other here and has each other’s back, and that’s a testament to the loving environment that Jodi & Colleen have created. I started out on the sales floor, which I loved, and then in 2013 I left to do an internship at the Denver Art Museum. When I came back, Jodi, our store manager, asked me to start taking photos for our Instagram account, and in 2015, I started managing our website. In 2017 my husband, Wes, got a job in Dallas, and I was so lucky that Jodi and Colleen wanted me to keep running the website from there. I’ve been so grateful to be doing that every day since. I still come back to Eugene every two months for trunk shows, the holiday party, photoshoots, and special events, so I love that I still get to see my amazing coworkers and customers that I miss seeing in person.
What does creativity mean to you?
It means to be inspired by what I see, by different forms of design, artwork, and things otherwise completely unrelated to what I do, and to pull that inspiration into my work. It means forcing myself to think outside the box and to do things differently. Creativity doesn’t always come easily, but it’s so rewarding when I do push myself and my creative boundaries to approach my work in a way that I never have before. I’m inspired every day by the jewelry artists whose work we carry.
Last photograph you took?
I photographed an amazing new Mizuki pearl ring that I can’t wait for everyone to see because this collection is amazing. And before that, my sweet dog, Niko, waking up from a nap.
What’s something people may not know about you?
I live in Dallas, Texas and run the website from there.
What are some of your favorite spots in Dallas?
In no particular order, my favorite restaurants are Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House for burgers, Oddfellows for brunch, Boulevardier for a nice dinner, HG Sply Co. for nachos and a rooftop drink, Azucar for Cuban ice cream (my favorite flavor is Abuela Maria, it’s made with guava cream cheese and maria crackers), ABV Establishment for happy hour cocktails, Cold Beer Company for a hot summer’s afternoon beer, Cane Rosso for the best Neapolitan style pizza, and Mutts Canine Cantina for a dog friendly outing – they have a dog park! – and I always get the frozen margarita. My favorite shops are Jade and Clover (they have a succulent bar where you can make your own terrarium) and Read Between The Lines, a cute stationary store.
Where are the places you love to visit when you’re back in Eugene?
Describe your jewelry style.
I go for simple and sentimental pieces that I can wear every day no matter what else I’m wearing: simple layering necklaces, stacking rings, and a pair of posts. I choose things that I know I’ll want to wear every single day (except for a few great statement pieces here and there), and I’ve really tried to build a collection of jewelry that can all be worn together.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I’m a docent at the Dallas Museum of Art, and I give tours of the museum to 4th graders. I love their takes on the artwork; they never cease to surprise me.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Edward Weston; I discovered him when I was 17 at the Oakland Museum of California, and it turned into a years’ long fascination. I eventually wrote my college thesis about him, and his still lifes inspire my work today. His work taught me how to keep it simple when taking photos – great lighting and an understanding of your camera is all you really need to get a great shot. But right now, my favorite artist is Mark Rothko; it amazes me how emotional and meditative his color field paintings can be when you really spend time with them.
Which NEWTWIST jewels are in your jewelry box?
I wear my Jane Hollinger heart necklace every day and layer it with my Melissa Joy Manning and Erica Molinari necklaces. I always have on my Victoria Cunningham stacking rings, a pair of posts (like Kaylin Hertel, Polly Wales, or Erica Molinari), my Misa band and Sydney Evan love ring, my pearl bracelets by Lena Skadegaard, and then I switch out my Jamie Joseph ring that I wear for that day – my chrysoprase, my first dendritic agate ring, or my other dendritic agate that I wore on my wedding day.
My jewelry is really sentimental to me. My Erica Molinari charms are all tied to specific memories or people that I love, my Lena Skadegaard pearl bracelets are what I wore on my wedding day, and I have some little Erica Molinari fox posts that remind me of my dog, Niko.
How do you like to spend your weekends?
Mostly just spoiling my dog – I know that’s a shocker – taking him to the dog park or to Mutt’s, and we always seem to find a way to the treat store, too.
Dendritic agate: I’ve never met a dendritic agate that I don’t love! They’re all so unique and remind me of mini landscapes or pressed plants. I have two Jamie Joseph dendritic agate rings and I get asked all the time if they’re little pressed plants, and it’s just so amazing to me that they form naturally.
Since I own two dendritic agate pieces, I’m no stranger to buying jewelry that’s similar to what I already own. But what it comes down to is what you love, and I always encourage customers not to overthink it, just buy what you’re drawn to. If you love it, you’ll wear it, and it’s okay to have similar things in your jewelry collection. I love both of my dendritic agate rings equally but for different reasons.
What podcasts are you listening to right now?
99% Invisible – I love that it’s about how our lives are influenced by design in the built world; This American Life – a tried and true favorite of mine; The Lonely Palette – it’s about art history but so much more than that, it’s really well done, and the way she talks about art really resonates with me; The Daily from the New York Times is great for news on the go; Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness – it’s perfect for when I want something lighthearted, but I know I’ll still learn something new.
A black bottom cupcake and one scoop of ice cream from Sweet Life.
What is something you always travel with?
Cute, comfy layers for the plane like my poncho scarf from Madewell or this Kimono that I just got from Aritzia. And I always pack my own bathrobe; I used to never bring it but then I realized I just can’t live without it!
Beauty product you can’t live without?
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in red square; I have tried countless other lipsticks but this is the one I come back to again and again.
Favorite stores to shop at?
Where’s your happy place?
Art museums or backpacking through mountain meadows. My husband and I go backpacking for our September birthdays each year and we try to visit a different state on each trip. It’s something I look forward to all year long. Fun fact: we got engaged on top of a mountain in Glacier National Park!
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
Favorite music of the moment?
Tips for moving to a new city?
Go into it with an open mind, even if it’s not a place you ever saw yourself living. Look at it as an opportunity to grow: you’ll meet good people and you’ll get to experience something new, which will be priceless. Don’t try to have it all figured out before you get there. We lived in an Airbnb for two weeks before we figured out what part of Dallas we wanted to live in. Give yourself time to settle in and figure it out once you get there.
And as time goes on, keep trying to find people who love the things that you love, but at the same time, find a way to embrace the people in that new place and how they have fun and do life. I used to really miss Oregon’s perfect summers, but I’ve learned to appreciate how amazing a cold beer on a really, really hot Texas summer day can be. Change is hard, but it’ll get better.
What are you most excited about lately?
My garden because it’s going gangbusters right now, and I’ve really been loving picking cuttings of my plants and teaching myself to draw again by sketching them.