Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Mya Lambrecht was 13 when she strung her first necklace for her aunt, the late jewelry designer Ann Lambrecht. Mya would go to Ann’s house after school to assist, but really it was an excuse to spend time with the “cool” aunt she considered her role model and confidant.
When she decided to take some time off from college, Mya retreated to her aunt’s picturesque home in the woods just past Wayzata. And two years ago, after graduating, she went to work for her part-time. Everything changed abruptly last September. Ann died suddenly while travelling in India. She was 48.
While Ann’s many friends and fans in the Twin Cities grieved the shocking loss, Mya, now 26, was left to deal with the aftermath. Jewelry orders came flooding in. “So many people wanted a piece of her,” Mya says. She coordinated a trunk show to sell most remaining inventory. Ann Lambrecht pieces were big, exotic statements combining stones and artifacts she collected on travels around the world.
When things calmed down, Mya found herself alone in the serene studio Ann had recently built, under a canopy of trees, in her yard. Inside, necklaces dripped from exotic-looking statues. Drawer upon drawer was filled with unusual stones from Ann’s far-flung travels. None of them were marked, because Ann “had a photographic memory,” Mya explains. “She knew where every stone came from. She knew its energy.”
Mya wasn’t ready to leave. So she did what her aunt taught her to do: She started making jewelry. Her own jewelry.
“It’s been cathartic to work in her space,” says Mya, adding that she had never really thought about designing under her own label. “But it feels natural. I’m surprised I like it as much as I do.”
Mya Lambrecht jewelry is perhaps a bit grittier than her aunt’s. “Ann was more refined. I want to put a crystal next to a rusty nail or bike chain,” Mya says. “She’d do three layers; I’d say, ‘make it eight!’”
Still, there’s no mistaking the similarities—the long strands, layered bracelets, the unexpected mix of materials. Mya Lambrecht pieces are now available at Grethen House, where Ann’s used to sell. Mya is also producing a lower-priced line—in the $150 to $250 range—for Grethen House’s North Loop store. And her jewelry is available at Maha! Boutique in Wayzata.
“My aunt was always so supportive, never judgmental,” Mya says. “She wanted me to follow my dreams. In tragedy, I was given a huge gift.” myalambrecht.com