Luna co-owners Elise, Joey, and Buck, standing with Sierra Otto in front of ULAH



When we opened LUNA by ULAH in 2021, we knew we had to feature Sierra Winter Jewelry.  Sierra Otto wasn't just a familiar face as a customer and friend of ULAH; her designs perfectly matched our store's vibe with their cool, rustic modern elegance. We interviewed Sierra Otto, the talented mind behind Sierra Winter Jewelry, a brand that seamlessly blends artistic expression with personal storytelling. Sierra shares with us her journey from childhood curiosities to becoming a sought-after jewelry designer, the inspirations behind her favorite pieces, and how her Kansas roots continue to shape her designs.

​​What inspired you to become a jewelry designer? 

As a kid, I loved playing in my grandma’s jewelry box. She had the best (and super gaudy) costume jewelry. I continued my love for jewels when I was in high school and made and sold jewelry to my classmates. I have always loved art so going into college I entered the fine arts school at KU.  I signed up for a metalsmithing and jewelry design class and fell in love! I have always loved seeing people wear my designs and the evolution of all of my jewelry experience has led me to where I am today.

What is one of your favorite pieces or collections you have created, and what stories or inspirations are behind them?

Some of my first designs for Sierra Winter are still my favorite. I am so proud of The Bluestem Earrings and the Astra Necklace. They have been staple pieces for SWJ and continue to sell well eight years later! :) 

model wearing Sierra Winter Bluestem Earrings

Are you from Kansas City originally, and how has Kansas City influenced your jewelry designs? 

I grew up on a ranch outside of Manhattan, Kansas in the Flinthills! As a child, I would collect stones, grasses, and flowers. I was always creating and fascinated with jewelry and the creative playground I grew up on helped me become the designer I am today. When I think of the prairie, I think of a simple elegance and I try to recreate that in my design aesthetic. 

How have you balanced your role as a small business owner and a mom of two young children, and does motherhood influence your creative process? 

Oh trust me, I have not balanced anything. To be balanced is to be perfect and that is not attainable. However, I have let myself sit in the chaos more and learned that I need to ask for help. I have the best team at work and at home which allows me to focus on the big picture for both my business and my family. 

Sierra Otto with her husband, daughter, and baby boy

What would you tell your younger self, or what advice would you give to aspiring jewelry designers?   

Stay focused on your esthetic, be true to yourself as an artist, and try not to compare yourself to what you see others doing. Social media is a highlight reel and what will set you apart as a designer is being uniquely you. 

You’ve been able to have some really fun celebrities wear your jewelry, do you have a favorite, and also a dream celebrity you’d love to see rocking your creations?  

Heidi Garder looks so damn good in our jewels. She is the best, and I am lucky to have gotten to know her through jewelry. Kacey Musgraves is also up there. She reached out to me personally for the Eclipse Necklaces and it was a total pinch me moment. I would LOVE to see Margo Price wearing SWJ. Does anyone know her stylist? :) 

Heidi Gardner wearing Sierra Winter Jewelry necklaces and earrings

What’s your go-to piece of jewelry when you want to add a little extra something to an outfit?

I LOVE rocking my Easy Rider Necklace. It is empowering and heavy. It feels like a weighted blanket :) 

What role does fashion play in your daily life? 

I wouldn’t consider myself ‘fashionable’ but I like to wear things that act as a canvas for my jewelry to stand out on! 

What are your favorite hidden gems, secret spots, or just going to classics in Kansas City that inspire your creativity?

I love getting lost at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum. Recently, my Daughter and I have been taking ceramic classes and touring studios of ceramic artists in Kansas City. It's so fun to get my hands messy in another medium! We have taken classes at KC Clay Guild and Driftwood Ceramics. 

What’s your favorite KC coffee or foodie spot? 

This could be a blog post on its own! I love food and drinks :) 

Some of my favorites are KC Bier Co, Campground, Earl’s Premier, Waldo Thai, Stockyards Brewing Co, and The Town & Company. 

Would you like to highlight any philanthropic efforts or community initiatives Sierra Winter is involved with? 

We love giving back to our community and we do so with in-store shopping events, and product donations for events and auctions. In addition,  a percentage of proceeds from the SWJ pieces with Pink Sapphire go back to these  wonderful KC organizations below: 

Carl’s Cause: Raising awareness for Mental Health 

Variety KC:  By providing access to medical equipment, therapy, and innovative programs we’re helping kids be active, be social, and belong

Happy Bottoms: To collaborate with the community to empower, connect, and impact families by alleviating diaper needs.

Could you share any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about? 

The American Royal is celebrating it's 125th anniversary this year and they asked us to design a commemorative piece with them!

Thank you to Sierra for sharing her inspiring journey and insights with us. Sierra Winter Jewelry is more than just a brand; it's a heartfelt expression of creativity and heritage.  We hope this glimpse into Sierra’s world encourages you to pursue your passions with as much heart and perseverance. Remember to support local artists and keep the spirit of creativity thriving in our community.  Check out our selection of Sierra Winter Jewelry here.

Buck Wimberly, Sierra Otto, and Elise Alexander standing inside the Sierra Winter Store