Photographed by Stas May for Accessories Almanac

Each week we're showcasing an accessory we’ve fallen in love with. A single piece, elusive enough to stand on its own. An object that’s not only pleasing to the eye, but has a similarly unique and personal story.

Pronunciation: VAHN-eh-sah mohn-tee-ehl

Established: 2007

Signature: Natural materials, such as horn and feathers. 

As an avid surfer and naturalist, jewelry designer Vanessa Montiel loves nothing more than drawing inspiration (and materials) from the world around her. Born in Mexico and trained as an artist in California and London, she lives between Bali and California, traveling the globe in search of new cultures and communities. Her pieces, which range from delicate feathered earrings (pictured above) to elaborate gold discs, are ethically made by local craftsman in the Indonesian Archipelago. Montiel's aim is to create a socially conscious business that contributes to the economy of local communities. Her team is lead by women from the karmic lineage of Mangku in Bali. A Mangku is a spiritual priest and mystic healer. Together they manage a group of goldsmiths from traditional Balinese villages, where trades of alchemy have been passed down for generations. 

Her work celebrates the natural beauty of the flora and fauna she discovers around the world, such as emerald green beetle wings, water buffalo horn, and as illustrated above, iridescent peacock feathers inspired by the gilded feathers that adorn wild birds. 

Stylist: Paul-Simon Djite