“As a little girl, I wanted to have a business making and selling things,” says jewelry designer Winifred Gundeck, 41, who was eight years old when barrettes she embellished were picked up by a boutique in her childhood home of Miami. Although the grown-up Gundeck started her professional life in Chicago in 2003 as a graphic designer, she threw herself into her first calling about ten years ago with the launch of Winifred Grace. She now sells her rustic-chic creations to more than 30 stores across the United States, including p.45 in Bucktown.
Using exotic stones and materials ranging from bronze and silver to leather and fabric, Gundeck makes pieces that feel both luxe and handmade. Her latest collection, Sueños (“dreams” in Spanish), was produced by disadvantaged women in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Made mostly of bronze, the line has geometric motifs and an artisan-crafted look. “It feels as if it has history to it,” says Gundeck.
The same storied quality fills the Andersonville prewar apartment she shares with her husband, documentary filmmaker Benjamin Fingerhut, and one-year-old son, Alexander. Her favorite finds (both vintage and new) and the endearing tales they hold appear below.
10 Things She Loves
MOTTAHEDEH CHARGER AND GEORG JENSEN SILVERWARE ($125 for charger, mottahedeh.com; fork and knife, $300 each, Georg Jensen, 959 N. Michigan Ave.)
“I have six red chargers and six blue to keep things unpredictable. The silver I like because it is at once masculine and feminine.”
“This was a gift from my parents when Alex was born; I think of that day whenever I look at it.”
VINTAGE GOLD POCKET WATCH
“This belonged to my great-grandmother, who grew up in Galesburg, Illinois.”
GEODE LAMP ($3,500 for similar style, swanklighting.com)
“I love the organic shape of the base next to the tailored shade. I am attracted to the combination of rough and sleek.”
MOK DUK BABY ANNOUNCEMENT (From $1,500 for 100 cards, annebenjamin.com)
“The idea of these sweet little animals welcoming our boy into the world makes me happy.”
ABIGAIL GLAUM-LATHBURY DRESS ($2,400, by special order at p.45, 1648 N. Damen Ave.)
“This dress is a throwback to Victorian times, with a fun modern twist.”
GRANDMA’S BRONZE CUFF ($165, winifredgrace.com)
“This piece was originally made by my grandmother, who was an artist and jewelry maker. I had a mold made of it and cast it in bronze, and it’s part of my new collection.”
BURROW AND HIVE SCARF ($190, burrowandhive.com)
“The colors are gorgeous, and it was screenprinted by hand in India.”
VINTAGE PLATTNER CHAIR ($2,874 to $3,139 for new chair, Design Within Reach, 10 E. Ohio St.)
“I bought this at an antiques shop on Lincoln Avenue when I first moved to Chicago. It represented the beginning of my new life as a creative professional.”
Photography: (Dress) Ratko Radojcic; (cuff) Gintas Zaranka; (all others) Anna Knott