Huffpost DC

My D.C. With Rachel Pfeffer, A Reluctant Jeweler And Throw-Pillow Maker (PHOTOS)

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RACHEL PFEFFER
Rachel Pfeffer wearing some of her jewelry | Rachel Pfeffer

This is the first in our new "My D.C." Q&A series, where we ask D.C.-area residents about the local things that make D.C. their home.

Anyone you'd like to see us interview? Email dc-tips@huffingtonpost.com.

Etsy darling Rachel Pfeffer's father is a jeweler, as are two uncles and two cousins. She didn't want to become a jeweler herself.

"I grew up with it, but always rejected it as a career until after college," Pfeffer told The Huffington Post. (She's a 2008 Brandeis University grad, and moved to D.C. about two years ago with her then-fiance.)

As she made clear in her 2011 YouTube video "Jewelry All Day" -- sample lyric: "I like to make jewelry all day, I like to make jewelry all day" -- she's now fully committed.

Pfeffer, who's also become well-known for her Instagram throw-pillows, makes sparkly, whimsical jewelry that pays homage to city living -- see, for example, her bicycle series, featuring earrings, necklaces and tie pins. Her "Where The Wild Things Are" pieces have a more literary bent.

"I really just make pieces that I would want to wear!" she told HuffPost. "Sometime they are tame, sometimes they are totally wacky. Sometimes I feel like my designs are all over the place, but after taking a step back, I can see that there is always some sort of design theme that connects them all together."

Ogle the jewelry at Pfeffer's online store, in the slideshow below and in person at D.C.'s Ginger Root Design (1530 U St. NW).

Here's some more about the local aspects of the no-longer-reluctant jeweler's life in the District of Columbia ...

The Huffington Post: Where do you live?

Rachel Pfeffer: Right smack between Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan.

HuffPost: What's your commute like?

RP: I wake up, roll out of bed, make the long journey to the living room and start soldering.

HuffPost: What's your favorite local spot to take out-of-town visitors?

RP: I love taking visitors shopping/eating/drinking around U Street. We start at Ginger Root at 16th & U (a great store that does tailoring and sells local goods, including mine!), and then down 14th.

HuffPost: What's your position on D.C. statehood?

RP: I support it.

HuffPost: What's your favorite local neighborhood?

RP: I love Mount Pleasant -- a Saturday morning spent at the farmers market, Heller's, and a quick pop into Frugalista is always a great way to spend the day.

HuffPost: What's your favorite local restaurant?

RP: I love Estadio on 14th for sangria and tapas, So's Your Mom on [Columbia Road] for a hearty Italian sandwich and The Passenger for the best Sunday brunch around!

HuffPost: Should D.C. lift its height restrictions on buildings?

RP: On the one hand, the lack of super tall skyscrapers makes D.C. feel more small-town and quaint, while on the other hand, I do love a ridiculously tall building. I'd be happy either way.

HuffPost: What do people in D.C. complain about too much?

RP: Since I work by myself, I mostly listen to my own complaints. One being the lack of a parking lot by FedEx or the post office. Or more importantly, my lack of a car. But that's not D.C.'s fault. But other than that, I'd say people complain about the summertime heat a lot.

HuffPost: What local issue should D.C.-area residents pay more attention to?

RP: My favorite (and closest) post office in Adams Morgan almost closed, but stayed open due to protesting citizens, which is amazing. I don't know what I would do without that post office, so I guess I would say that residents should continue to make a fuss when they threaten to close more.

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