Our industry is one of illusion, fashion is a dream-like world of make believe fueled by a love of art and creativity. But beneath it all, there are real hearts and souls putting everything on the line in the name of self-expression. Vanessa Mooney is one of those people that’s so real- a no bullsh*t kind of girl with an open heart and a deep soul. With wisdom beyond her years balanced by a playful, funny, and adventurous side, she’s the kind of friend I'd like to drink margaritas and go skinny dipping with, but she's got the depth and compassion to go along with it. But first and foremost she is a true artist in all senses of the word; although her chosen mode of expression is jewelry making. Her aesthetic is an ecelctic mix of inspiration; from world travels to vintage heirloom pieces, her jewels are an outward reflection of her passions and her heart; artistry, vintage, depth, and meaning.
We're so excited to be spending Coachella weekend with this beautiful soul! We're teaming up with Vanessa at a midcentury modern house in Palm Springs to kick off the weekend with a private event with our friends at D'blanc. Margaritas, mimosas, music & friends- Stay tuned for a recap of Weekend 1!
Tell us how you were introduced to Cleobella?
I remember walking a trade show in Downtown LA maybe 7 years ago and seeing these bags that were so cool and different from what anyone else was doing. It was Cleobella. I was a fan from that moment forward.
What does the word "Bella" mean to you?
Beauty, kindness, the type of girl who is full of love and life, it makes her everything that is beautiful.
Tell us a little bit about your background and journey, how did you arrive at jewelry making?
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with vintage, vintage films, vintage books, vintage paintings anything that felt like it was from another time. Jewelry to me, when I started designing, made me feel like I could bring something special back from any period of time and make a person feel like they were wearing things that symbolized some memory.
shop this look.
What is the story behind the birth of Vanessa Mooney Jewelry?
I used to paint and design things late at night, no matter what I was doing in life I would always come back to myself when I was alone and working on some piece of art. After awhile I realized why not do what I loved & that made me feel the most myself. So I just quit my job, moved to downtown Los Angeles and started a brand.
It’s so inspiring to see successful entrepreneurs. What piece of advice would you give a young person starting a business, or wanting to make the leap to starting their own company?
Don’t doubt, just go for it. Never make less of yourself or look to others for the answers or inspiration. It comes from you.
How long ago did you start VM? Was there any particular event, collaboration, or game-changing moment that jump-started your growth?
Honestly it was just the decision to do what I loved and to have no fear about it. So right from the start it felt like it just took off. I felt uninfluenced by others or the idea of failure. I felt like anything could happen and great things did!
Where do you look for inspiration when designing?
All around me, everywhere I look, girls on the street, myself, I think about what I want to wear and why.
Who or what inspires you outside of design?
Other artists, my friends, music, kindness, happiness.
What do you love to do outside of work?
I love watching people. I know that might sound creepy, lol, but when I am out at bars or dinner or just wherever I may be, my favorite thing is the people I am around. I love listening to them, seeing how they move, how they dress or how they talk. I especially love seeing the things they do when they think no one is watching. It makes me so happy.
Your home is so beautiful and inspiring. Tell us about your process or aesthetic for designing interiors?
Oh man thanks so much!! I like that my home is full of treasures, they remind me of life and the things I’ve done and seen. When I see an object or a painting I usually have some feeling connected to it and no matter how odd it is, I grab it. I never have a place in mind for it. I just know that somehow it belongs in some spot in my home that will make that spot more special by being there. And it will bring some feeling to someone else when they see it.
What is the meaning behind your new tattoo?
For me it symbolizes the past few years of great change and all the new things I have learned about myself AND that there is so much more to come!! Tattoos & Symbolism are fun and beautiful to me. I love being able to say something without words. The snakes represent the good and the evil in me, creative life force, rebirth, transformation, guardianship. The roses symbolizes beauty and love & the sacred heart being a divine love of humanity.
Tell us about your dogs!
Hahahah my dogs are my true homies, my baby soul mates and the loves of my life!
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Sun, ocean, tequila, laughing your ass off, good friends, yummy food, being with the guy you can’t stop touching, warm nights and waking up the next morning knowing that, that was a perfect day you just had!
What’s your sign?
What makes a person beautiful?
So many things and they are all different person to person, But what I have noticed the most… that to me is really the best… you are AS beautiful as you make someone else feel beautiful & important no matter who they are.