dark haired woman in a denim jacket holding a crate of vinyl records in a room with light green walls

One of my favorite parts of this job is getting the chance to meet you in person, learning a bit more about you, and seeing the personal and creative ways you style your MGG Studio jewelry. Since meeting face-to-face is a lot tougher to do these days, I wanted to find a fresh way to connect- and that’s how the MGG Studio Spotlight was born! 

In this blog series, I’ll be chatting with some of my amazing customers (like you) and getting to know them a bit better. I’ll be learning about their varied backgrounds, the things that inspire them and sustain them during these tough times, and the (often touching) role that jewelry plays in their lives. These connections have been a real highlight for me and I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I do- I can’t wait to share them with you!

Kicking off the series is my interview with Kate Koeppel, owner and creative in charge at Koeppel Design. Kate and I were introduced by a mutual friend and connected over our enthusiasm for minimalist design and our passion for sustainability. She has the best vinyl collection of anyone I know, and makes a mean blood orange Negroni.  I love that she uses jewelry as self care during this weird time. Take it away, Kate!

A container of vinyl records organized with handmade wooden dividers. A woman's hand wearing a sculptural bronze PIEDRA ring is shown selecting a record

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

I am a designer and founder of Koeppel Design. I make wood products to help vinyl collectors feel calm at home. I like to say my products make record hoarding look damn good! I am from Seattle, but have lived in San Francisco for nearly 12 years, so it feels like home to me and my husband and cats.

What's something you find inspiring? (e.g., a meaningful song, a favorite place, a piece of art, a special person in your life)

Music is really inspiring to me, and we listen to a lot of music at home. Music can really impact my mood and help me feel productive too, so the right music for the moment is important. Right now I really love Khruangbin and composer Max Richter- both very different musically, but I find myself able to get into a good work rhythm with either of these in the background.

woman's hand wearing a bronze ring holding paper flowers against a pink wall

What inspires your personal style (current trends? comfort? someone you admire?)

Over the last few years, comfort and sustainability lead my style choices over anything else. I like clothes that I can wear again and again, that aren't too fussy or made from some sweaty, clingy, unnatural material. I'd much rather have just one well made item I'll wear for many years than a few cheaper ones I can wear just a few times. I find most of my style inspiration from people watching, rather than watching magazines or big brands. I may see a woman at a farmer's market with a beautiful but practical outfit that I'll remember for weeks, or someone walking that just looks so at ease in a color that really suits them. My circle of friends is often sharing small brands that make beautiful, ethical things and I am so much more drawn to those inspirations than what might be trendy or popular.

Tell us a bit about why you wear jewelry and how it makes you feel. 

In these strange times, I'm wearing jewelry to help myself feel normal. It is a really nice routine to put on a different piece of jewelry for myself in the morning, even if I am not leaving the house. Jewelry right now is a personal reminder for me to look for simple things that make me feel good during the day, and jewelry is a nice reminder that there is beauty everywhere. Even while composting, washing dishes, or answering emails- a little glimpse at my jewelry choice for the day is a small delight.

Jewelry is one of those things that I feel is more for me than anyone else. I want to wear pieces that don't hurt my ears or get caught up in things, and I want to be able to work with my hands, get dirty  and make things.

woman's hands wearing a bronze ring kneading dough on a wooden cutting board

What piece of jewelry do you wear most often and why? 

I wear two pieces every day, and I rarely take them off. I wear my wedding band, and a matching band that fits into with it, which we added after after our baby died in late pregnancy. Both of these pieces make me feel love and feel connected. 

I bought myself a matte bronze PIEDRA ring most recently online, after trying it on a few times at market events, and peeking at it a few times online. I love it because it is something I picked for myself, is a bit different from most of what I own, and it just spoke to me when I saw it!

I find myself reaching for my bronze PIEDRA ring every week. It is bold and big, and somehow just makes me feel really confident, even if I have it on with pajamas or a comfy house sweater. It feels like a statement of confidence when I wear it, and I really do find myself feeling more confident when I put it on.

woman's hand holding a dutch baby pancake in a cast iron pan

We love to shout out other small businesses- let us know your favorite local business spot to shop for accessories! 

I have a few basic jumpsuits from Esby Apparel (Austin, TX) that I really love. They wash wonderfully, are made in the USA, they are reversible and the shape is flattering and feels good with clogs or flats or a denim jacket over. 

I also love Curator in San Francisco. I bought a Jules Cardigan in navy a few years ago, and they've since made them in every color. I wear this year-round in the bay area- it works with everything, and it is the perfect layering piece- and it is made locally!


Thanks so much, Kate! I love that Jules cardigan from Curator, you might just be seeing a similar one in my closet sometime soon. Be sure to check out Kate’s beautifully made and design-forward record dividers at @recorddividers on Instagram.

Are you an MGG Studio customer? Want to share more about your love of sculptural jewelry, minimalist design, sustainable style (or anything else)? We’d love to learn more about you! Visit our blog post here to learn more- if your interview is selected for our Spotlight series we’ll send you a $50 coupon to use on your next MGG Studio purchase!

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