Getting To Know: Jeri Lynn of Huichol Love
This is a special Get to Know Her feature for me personally. I met this magical soul about 20 years ago (whoa!!!) when I was an Austin newcomer. We worked together at Emerald’s Boutique and forged an instant friendship. My favorite first memory of Jeri Lynn is the year we decided to concoct special boozy gifts for all our friends for Christmas. It was fun and hilarious and turned out to be really gross - but man did we laugh a lot! As life works sometimes, we fell out of touch for a bit. Until one day about 10 years ago Jeri Lynn walked into Solid Gold. And, as it should be when you reunite with someone who has touched your heart, it was like a warm homecoming. I am so beyond honored to call this incredible woman a friend and have adored getting to know her all over again.
The HUICHOL LOVE collection
The HUICHOL LOVE collection is designed to benefit the Huichol people and to spread love for the Huichol culture.
The Huichol are considered to be one of the last surviving pre-Columbian cultures in the world and, like many indigenous peoples around the globe that are facing modernity, their vibrant culture is in danger of vanishing.
The creation of HUICHOL LOVE jewelry helps provide opportunities for Huichol people to remain in their homeland while utilizing their traditional skills to sustain themselves. Every piece in the collection is hand beaded by the Huichol people in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico and finished with signature sterling silver and gold elements in our studios in Austin, TX and Sayulita, Mexico.
HUICHOL LOVE produces limited amounts of handmade, carefully crafted jewelry. To learn more about the Huichol people and how you can help, you can visit The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival.
How did you connect with the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival? And can you give those not familiar with the work of the center, a mini synopsis…
I LOVE The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival. It is a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated organization that empowers Huichol individuals to maintain their spiritual, artistic and cultural heritage by preparing them to coexist with the outside world on their own terms. Facing territorial encroachment of their sacred land and a need to survive in a modern world, the Huichol Center provides a bridge across a cultural divide.
After encountering Huichol people and their work in my travels two decades ago, I returned home to search the internet for information about them. The only info that would pop up back then was from the Huichol Center. Years later - when my family and I moved to Sayulita - I started volunteering for the Huichol Center at their gallery there. Since I’m a jewelry designer by trade, it became clear that the best way I could help the Center was to design jewelry that would appeal to a modern market, broadening appreciation for their work and - hopefully - for their cultural needs.
Clearly you are incredibly inspired by the Huichol. Can you put into words the magic that happens when you are with the artisans that you work with in Mexico?
The Huichol (Wixáritari) are an indigenous people that live in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. They have somehow held onto their own spiritual rituals, their language, their dress. The magic I experience is 1) getting to step into a world that is “other” when everything is becoming more “same” and 2) having the opportunity to help preserve and honor that beautiful “other”.
Ok so now for fun easy stuff…just to get to know you a little better😊 What music are you listening to these days?JL:
I’m on a country kick at the moment. Margo Price, Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson
Suzanne by Nina Simone has always been one of my favorites and touches me in a sweet spot this year in particular.
Do your kiddos like it when you sing along? (mine does NOT)JL:
They don’t mind my singing yet. But I think they’re beginning to get embarrassed by my car dancing :)
Best dish you cook? Let’s have a fam cook off! (fyi I’m a better baker that cook😊)JL:
My years in Mexico taught me to make a mean guacamole and just-right margarita.Katie:
Oh it's on!
Dirty Dancing. Of course. Isn’t that everyone’s favorite?!?! K: I just watched it the other night for the 4 millionth time. Was just going to sit for a sec and ended up watching til the very last dance! Perfection.
Aside from when you got married and your babies arrived, do you have a happiest day?JL:
The night that I knew I was falling in love with my husband: Dark Prague. Fresh snow. Belly laughs.Katie:
What is the best compliment you have gotten?JL:
That I’m a good friend.Katie:
Well, ain’t that the truth! Thank you, my friend, for answering my questions and letting us all get to know you.
Here is to the next 20 years of friendship and laughs!