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Keeping craftsmanship alive



Although mysteries surrounding Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting remain, the unfaltering beauty of the Mona Lisa is indisputable to all in its presence. Stepping through the door of Mona Lisa’s Closet brings shoppers into this same presence of beautiful artistry.

Ever since its creation just a year ago, Mona Lisa’s Closet has lured people in from all over the Austin area with its compelling concept of “keeping craftsmanship alive.” The name serves as sort of a mystery to the passersby: What could the perplexing Mona Lisa have hiding in her closet?

One peek through the Closet’s doors is an introduction to a world of the most detailed handcrafted pieces and designs. The boutique offers a wide range of products, including jewelry, scarves and wraps, clothing, textiles, handbags and many other accessories. The quality of these pieces, consisting of jewelry in 22-karat and 24-karat gold as well as linen, silk, cotton and velvet fabrics, is top-notch. The boutique’s owner, Laura Williams, takes pride in the authenticity and quality of these products. “We carry several different artists who produce unique and high-end products,” says Williams. “Everything is very high quality.” Many of these artists are found locally in Austin, while the rest are scattered across America, with the exception of one who resides in Ecuador. These artisans include Lawrence Baca, who creates Spanish colonial-inspired pieces; Sharon Sorken, a textile and bead crocheter; Johanna and Keith Berge, goldsmiths who work exclusively in high-karat gold; Patricia Stout, an artist and blacksmith; and Paula Cho, maker of opulent pearl-studded necklaces.


In addition to these talented artists, Mona Lisa’s Closet also receives products from studios such as The Golden Eye and Belle Fine Jewelry. Although from disparate areas, all of the works come together to create a boutique flourishing with one- of-a-kind, handcrafted products.

It’s not only the quality and design of these products that make them unique, but also the earth-friendly way in which they are created; Williams and Mona Lisa’s Closet support and offer products that are created from natural materials and are environmentally responsible. “I’ve seen products being produced in a very irresponsible way. I don’t want to be a part of that,” Williams explains. All gemstones found in the boutique’s jewelry are ethically sourced. Most of the clothing is colored with botanical dyes. All scarves and wraps are fabricated with natural fibers. “We want to be very environmentally conscious,” states Williams. “We want to leave this world a great place for our grandchildren.”

From the beauty of the pieces to the details behind their creation, Mona Lisa’s Closet never fails to deliver quality and originality to its customers. “We just have extremely unique products,” Williams says with pride, “not products that you would find at every other boutique.”

One stroll through the store will assert the truth of this claim. Whether looking to satisfy your unique style or to get a closer glimpse behind the mystery, a peek into Mona Lisa’s Closet will certainly not disappoint.

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