The gang’s all here: From her Beverly Grove boutique, handbag designer Elisabeth Weinstock mentors former drug addicts and gang members and utilizes their collaborative contributions, such as this penitent version of her classic Sardinia weekender.
Los Angeles-based handbag designer Elisabeth Weinstock is wielding her creative powers for the good of aspiring artists. Since launching her much-in-demand, ultra-chic accessories and home wares line in 2011, the former interior designer has found a way to turn her talent for creating luxe goods into an opportunity to help others.
Through a class she started with the South Central-based youth center A Place Called Home, Weinstock, 49, has been mentoring adolescents who have fallen on hard times with drug addiction or gang affiliation. She now brings that mentorship to the next level, shepherding a team of former addicts and gang members to find inspiration through art—by creating pieces for her eponymous line. Weinstock even pays the aspiring designers hourly for their work and makes herself available as a reference, encouraging her mentees to include the experience on their résumés.
“We have an open-heart policy over here,” says the Beverly Hills native, who once struggled with addiction herself. “There’s so much raw talent in the world. This opportunity helps people get better… not just get by.” 8159 W. 3rd St., LA, 323-655-3000