Jendala — Jennifer Utsch (Healdsburg, California)

"I have always been passionate about art and creating,” Jenn recalls. Seeing promise, a high school teacher urged her to enroll in art school. But, like so many, "I never believed there was a future for me in art; so, I veered in the opposite direction." She graduated with degrees in Spanish and international relations and then pursued careers in law enforcement, firefighting and real estate.

Though the work was exciting and rewarding, Jenn still felt unsatisfied and restless. This is when she turned back to her first love, and established Mandala Recycled Art in 1998. "Although these educations and careers were not ‘right' for me,” she says, "I now see how the dots connected me to finding ‘Jendala.’" Law enforcement provided her with the assertiveness and awareness needed to be self-employed, and firefighting gave her the appreciation and connection with fire (along with the knowledge of using the oxy-acetylene torch). Real estate prepared her for the daily office routine that any business requires.

"In a nutshell, these experiences looped me back to my youthful connection with art and people. All of my ‘mistakes' create my product line."

All metal is reclaimed (sourced mostly from sheet metal and steel cans). She designs each piece using a hand torch. She then paints and assembles each piece with beads and bells selected from Sustainable Cooperatives in India and Indonesia.

Jendala's mission is to encourage a sustainable way of living for ourselves and our environment from what we already have — what we believe is a healthier way of being. 

jendala bells 1.6.21

Metal affirmation bells

jendala orns 1.6.21

Penguin and Zia ornaments

jendala zia mags 1.6.21

Zia magnets

kanji flags 2

Painted metal Kanji flags© Off the Beaten Path 2016