Shalla Wista Studio represents a unique collection of jewelry with a contemporary flair that ranges from understated to glamorous glitz. Founded in 2006 by owner and lead designer Laura Gaines, Shalla Wista transcends Laura’s own personal style. Unafraid of stepping out in her favorite boyish pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots with her staple Austrian Crystal spike earrings, Laura’s unapologetic fashion sense has caught the attention of a loyal fan base that is national in scope. In 2010, while in Los Angeles, her out-of-the-box designs were discovered by the producers of the movie Something Borrowed. The next thing she knew, Laura was on set in New York, where the filming took place with stars Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin adorned in her designs.
Never one to be short on humility, Laura is also a person of inspiration and grace. She operates out of a closed studio in Crestline Village located in Birmingham, Alabama. Even though Laura resides in the quiet South, she knows no boundaries when it comes to seeking inspiration and putting together the perfect collection. Shalla Wista Studio currently has two very unique lines, and every piece is handmade in the studio. Laura feels that designing and replicating the pieces with her team – all by hand – allows everyone to feel a sense of ownership.
When asked to explain the evolution of her designs from 2006 until now, she said, “In my early years, I was more reserved with my jewelry because, in releasing a new line, there is a sense of feeling like you’re standing naked on Michigan Avenue waiting for people to judge you.” With a slight smile exuding a sense of contentment, she went on to say, “As for where I am now, especially with this year’s line, I am designing from a place of passion and what I truly love. I have been able to let go of that initial vulnerability that most designers experience, and am now fully focused on transcending my personal style into each piece I design.”