Jimmy Brower looks to the Mojave for inspiration.
The brainchild of owner and maker Jimmy Brower, West Perro is a desert-inspired lifestyle brand that offers jewelry and home goods. The organic shapes and hues of West Perro’s statement necklaces, earrings, and wall hangings are inspired by the color, terrain, and texture of the Mojave Desert — where Brower travels on a monthly basis. Each piece is handmade from polymer clay, leather, cotton fiber, and wooden beads in a compact North Oakland live/work space. Brower shares the space with his partner and dog, Joey, the perro (“dog” in Spanish) behind the brand name.
The southern Illinois native started West Perro two years ago as a creative outlet to express his personal artistry outside a full-time retail career. In April, he transitioned out of the 9-to-5 lifestyle to devote his energies to his own brand. He sees West Perro as “a means to have and hold and give and share.” The underlying ethos of all of his work is to make a personal connection with others. As for his own artistic process, the self-professed yogi-at-heart explains: “I experience meditative release through making. It’s a time for me to focus on calm thoughts, to find sanctuary in the cacophony of life in the Bay Area.”
As for the future, Brower will remain part of every West Perro product. “I’m interested in entering people’s spaces, their houses, and lives,” such as in his take on the “evil eye” in his ocular wall hangings, which are meant to watch over a hallowed space, such as a baby’s nursery. Brower also strives to make his brand an extension of his life, which is why he is expanding his work into a new venture called Head West, a maker marketplace in partnership with local shopping areas, such as Bay Street in Emeryville. The mission behind the new venture is to “create an environment that supports and embraces local creativity and the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
West Perro can be found at Neeko in Berkeley, Oak Common in Oakland, and online at WestPerro.com.