A visit to jewelry designer Peter Hofmeister’s Lower East Side studio.
Jewelry designer Peter Hofmeister’s studio, on New York City’s Lower East Side, is as warm and gracious as Hofmeister himself. Hofmeister and his business partner, Janice McLean, founded Hofmeister’s eponymous jewelry line five years ago, an outlet for his passion for jewelry making and a refuge from his day job as a product designer at Ralph Lauren. Making use of materials like brass, 14-karat gold, and bronze, with mother-of-pearl or amethyst embellishments, his work resembles rediscovered heirlooms.
Hofmeister’s sideline has evolved into a full-time job, one that recently necessitated hiring employee number three. Fittingly, for this homey studio, the job went to McLean’s sister, Jo Anna.
Take a tour of Peter Hofmeister’s convivial workspace below (courtesy of Jo Anna)
Peter Hofmeister Jewelry is a three-person outfit. We’ve converted every element of our studio into a functional workspace, while maintaining a homelike feel. The communal style arrangement of our jewelry stations is ideal for our intimate setup.
Dirty as the work may be, we are proud that our fingers have a hand in every element that goes into the production of our jewelry, from the carving of the molds and pouring of the wax to the filing and polishing of the finished piece. It’s amazing to see the various, intricate steps that go into taking an idea and turning it into something beautiful.
Organized chaos—there is always a method to the madness. Seemingly cluttered, every component is placed within arm’s reach, just so, for optimal workflow.
There really is nothing quite like working with family. The camaraderie of sharing your passion with the people that you love is what motivates us to get up each day. We work long, we work hard, and we get dirty, but we do it with a smile on our faces, and dedication in our hearts. Our motto is this: We work until the work is done.
I’ve always had an affinity for making jewelry. With no formal training in the field, it has been a craft that has been acquired and cultivated over the span of 20 years. My partner and I never dreamed that when we started doing this as a side business and hobby five years ago, we would become an actual brand. We are still a very young company, but I feel we get finer-tuned with every bump in the road, accomplishment, and achievement.
I’m the newest member of the team, and I am still in awe that I get to be a part of this journey. Working with two people that you look up to, in an atmosphere of positivity and respect, has been a life-altering experience. From watching Peter teach Janice everything that he knows, to her in turn teaching me all of her techniques, every day is an opportunity to learn and create.
Photographed in his studio in New York by Nicole Franzen