If I’m honest, I make a few assumptions about Adina Mills on the way to our first interview. I figure she’s eccentric, for one, and most likely decked out in gemstones. I also prepare for what I estimate to be a high probability that she asks me to participate in a drum circle, like those held at the popular New Age women’s retreat, Spirit Weavers Gathering, where her jewelry can be seen on many “sisters” who attend. Each of her pieces is an organic take on urban funk: Obelisk-shaped rings mount large chunks of white apophyllite and purple amethyst in hand-sculpted clay, while giant pendants made of quartzite or geode drip from chunky ropes and gold chokers.
In short, I expect Mills to be a reflection of her artistry, or at least how I perceive it to be.
So when the jewelry artist opens the door of her Landers home in a simple white dress and a single gold necklace, I couldn’t be more surprised. With her hair piled high in two pigtail buns, she greets me with a warm hug and a soft hello.
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We make our way through her living room to the kitchen table, three anxious dogs nipping at our heels offering stark contrast to her down-to-earth demeanor. A blue and green floral couch anchors the room and sits opposite one in faded Victorian yellow. On the far wall, a mirror covered in blue and yellow graffiti hangs next to a pencil sketch…