It's obvious when meeting designer Sage Machado for the first time that she is a force of nature.
The multihyphenate clothing designer-perfumer-artist-entrepreneur closed her Los Angeles boutique of 20 years (whose customers included Julia Roberts, Madonna, Kate Hudson, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Alba) in April to focus on jewelry design, lifestyle consulting and "gem therapy."
Machado says she's been consulting with and making custom "healing jewelry" for clients for several years.
Her Sage Lifestyle brand (www.thesagelifestyle.com) customers are from all over the world, though mostly from the U.S. She says they are "fashionistas, socialites, [people] of that nature" who gravitate to her hippie-influenced spiritual world of color, texture and well-crafted good vibes.
"A lot of people go to life coaches, or they have spiritual readers, or they go to an astrologer," Machado says.
"This is something similar, except the difference is I'm not just giving them words but a tangible object, something beautiful they can wear on their body to help remind themselves, 'Look, I'm wearing this ring. It's my wellness stone. The vibrations are protecting me from the planets shifting.' It's a reminder. Because we're always healing ourselves, always."
Machado creates her healing jewelry from her trove of vintage and antique global gems, colorful stones, piles of exotic textiles and anything that has to do with her self-proclaimed obsession of color.
Her workspace is crowded with Mexican opals, Chinese turquoise, Tibetan coral, carnelian, amber, agate, tiger's-eye, raw ruby diamonds. Her antiques are deconstructed and reworked according to the emotional and physical needs of her clients.
How does the process work?
Machado offers 15-minute complimentary consultations in which she queries clients on their likes, dislikes, attitudes, lifestyles, issues — "their essence," she says. After the initial consultation, her services start at $500 an hour plus the price of the jewelry.
Say you're headed to Las Vegas and need some extra luck. Or traveling to Europe and need some protective jewelry for your young daughters. Or perhaps negative energy is brewing toward you at work. Those are quick issues to address, she says, requiring perhaps a 30-minute interview, after which she'll make a protective bauble for you.
"There are, of course, deeper issues and needs, and we can go as deep as a client wants to," she says. (And as broad. Machado's endeavors have included redesigning a bedroom, commissioning artwork and finding antiques.)
"I'm a compassionate human being, and I really, truly do what I do because I really like helping people and bringing light and art and color into their life," she says. "If I can suggest it, if I can help them in any way, if I can enhance their life, then I'm happy."