Tara HirshbergJewelry DesignerPhotographs & Story by Lauri Levenfeld
Tara is a purveyor of all things beautiful. This is apparent from the minute you walk through the door into the house her husband and she built from the ground up, to the art collection exhibited on the walls, and to the exquisite must-have fashions that Tara adorns. But Tara is also a woman of wisdom, creativity, strength, and presence. You see this from the minute she interacts with her two boys and in her tales of meeting her husband at 17 years old, and how he continues to be a daily inspiration in her life. As TMP moves into a month on growth, Tara reflects beautifully on taking the time to feel your life. And if you head over to Style Me Pretty Living, you will see more on how this art of balance and simplicity shines through in all aesthetics of Tara’s life.
I’m Tara…The Basics:
I’ve spent most of my life trying to blend creativity and business. My jobs in college centered around food, clothing and advertising until finally I found gallery life. I started as a gallery receptionist when I was 23 and opened my own gallery (Sandroni Rey) in Los Angeles when I was 28. I ran the gallery, with a partner, for 12 years and only closed it after having my second son. I handled most of the secondary sales at the gallery and it was a natural transition into being a private curator for the families I’d been working with for years. I started The Art Advisory, which manages and curates private art collections, in 2010.
My job in the art world requires quite a bit of sartorial skill and I have always been a fan of backless dressing. I think it’s both strong and vulnerable at the same time. I could never find any jewelry designed specifically for the back so I started designing some for myself – and an entire line just burst forth as if it had been waiting there for along time. I started Tara Hirshberg Jewelry, about a year ago.
My inspiration is the art of balance and simplicity. You can find it absolutely anywhere, in the grandest experiences and in the completely mundane.
The most beautiful abstract painting exists because the artist knew what to leave out. It takes a lot of discipline to make things look simple. Things that convey a sense of balance are always inspiring to me – nature, people, music, food – wherever I can find it.
Changes I have made being a mom:
Every time I try to explain what it’s like to be a mother I sound like a Hallmark card but I guess clichés are clichés for a reason. When I had my first child, my son Luke, it was as though my heart exploded. A door opened that I never even knew was there and my world expanded exponentially. Whatever toughness or armor that I had developed to move through the world just dropped away. It was as if my heart was walking around outside my body. The past decade has been a journey discovering how to maintain the strength that has made me successful with the softness that presented itself when I became a mother. My jewelry is a direct manifestation of that desire.
Although I actually hate it when people say this to me, the best advice I have been given or can give is: Relax. Just slow it all down. Life goes SO fast. You sneeze and you’re babies are boys and your boys are men. It’s so easy to get caught up in the little daily dramas that it’s difficult to pull back and see the forest through the trees. As hard as it was, I swear I would go back to sleepless nights and diapers if I could. Make sure you give yourself time to feel your life.
Kids: Luke-age 9, Jake-age 7
Even though my boys are getting bigger, they still have their first blankets. They are made by Giraffe and in my house they are called ‘blees’. They’re the best. They’ve had many trips to the tailor to keep them with us. My sons can be such little men during the day but then at night, well, you know – everyone needs a little bit of ‘blee’.
When I was nursing, the one thing I could not do without was a Dria Cover. They are these amazing, thin ponchos, in chic fabrics that you can put over yourself while you nurse. You can wear them yourself, over jeans and a tee, or use them to cover your babe from sun while they’re in the stroller. I couldn’t walk two feet without people asking me where I got it.
My husband and I built our house about 6 years ago and it was one of the best experiences of our lives. It’s such a gift to be able to design a home around your specific lifestyle and habits. Every detail is well considered but hopefully feels organic. That’s what I strive for in my jewelry as well.
We describe it as warm minimalism. Most houses that look like ours are unwelcoming to kids. To mess. To chaos. We wanted a house that was clean and minimal but also casual and familial.
It’s all in the details. The way the house offers a place for everything that needs to happen in it.
The light fixture over the dining room table is one of the last pieces we found for the house. We had very specific needs there. The main floor is a giant open room with the living room, dining room and kitchen all sharing the space. When you enter the house you look straight through the dining room into the back yard. When you see this fixture head-on it takes up almost no visual space but lights the entire dining table.
Our photo wall was designed by my husband. It’s genius because you can edit the entire wall in no time. The photos pop in and out so the wall tells the story of your life as it unfolds. Once you get a photo into a frame, it tends to stay there.
Our sons’ rooms share a wall and we designed a Secret Tunnel that connects their closets. We let them discover it themselves when we moved in. When they were little they would crawl through it exclusively to pass between rooms (especially when they had nightmares). They’re getting a little too big for that now but they keep it open every night when they go to sleep so they can keep tabs on each other.
Tara, I truly am blown away by your mastery of design and simplicity, and more so, by your attention to the present and all that is wonderful in life. It’s awe-inspiring! And if you ever want to come over to organize the shelves of my pantry, I have seen your divine skillset, so just let me know. x
A day in the life
Task: The Beauty of Darkness