Four decades ago, Laura Dalesandro packed up her kids and left Oklahoma for a new start in Seattle. She didn’t know exactly what she was going to do, but she knew she was going to do it here. Armed—literally—with beautifully patinaed silver, diamonds cut to sparkle in candlelight, and Victorian-era narrative brooches, she began her life’s work: sourcing antique jewelry from around the world and selling it at her Pike Place Market shop. This month she celebrates 40 years of sharing sparkle, shine, and enduring beauty with a community that she says becomes more conscientious, environmentally aware, and creative every year.

Wearing Ivory is my mourning jewelry. This is how I honor what’s been harmed. These bangles are all at least 100 years old. I wear a cross every day, too; this one is from Africa. Resurrection is intrinsically tied to my ideas about the joy of life.

Layered look Ignore the critical voice and keep putting things on in front of the mirror. When you’re saying what you wanted to say, you’ll know. Some of my customers come in with rings all across their hands—different eras, different stones, different metals. It’s art, and I can’t take my eyes off it. Isn’t all of life about layering? Different perspectives, different points of view? Isn’t that what we’re doing right now? Isn’t this layering? 

A woman’s time We start to get beautiful at around 40, which is when we start to really know ourselves. 

A woman’s body The shoulders are the last thing to fall to gravity. I like the intimacy of wide-neck shirts like this one, which I picked up in Venice. 

A woman’s luggage When I travel I take 10 white linen shirts, two pairs of jeans, and an entire tote bag of jewelry. Everywhere I go people want to talk to me about these amazing pieces. I’m blessed to have them pass through my life.

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