San Miguel de Allende, an artsy town in the Mexican highlands, is not the first place you’d associate with jewelry designer Gogo Ferguson. That would be Cumberland Island, where Ferguson—a descendant of the Carnegies, who made Cumberland their winter home in the late 19th century—is one of just a handful of residents. Ferguson has become almost synonymous with the wild, remote barrier island, whose flora and fauna are the primary source of inspiration for her necklaces, earrings, and housewares. But few people know that over the past 15 years, she and her family have made another home in San Miguel. There she gathers inspiration for her line, works on new designs with a metalsmith, and takes in the views from her family’s hacienda-style stone house overlooking the colonial-era city. Here, she shares her favorite local haunts.
One of my favorite spots is La Parada, which is owned by some dear friends from Peru. The ambience is incredible; all the ceviches are fabulous and, of course, the pisco sours. Another is the Restaurant. It’s run by chef Donnie Masterson, whom we flew to Cumberland to do my daughter’s wedding. For a sunset view, go to the Rosewood Hotel rooftop for drinks or the Hotel Matilda, which is also great for brunch.
The natural hot springs are a must. At the Mayan Baths, you can swim into these grottoes; the farther you go in, the hotter the water gets. Down one of the tunnels is a room where you can get a massage. For music, El Jardin, the main square, always has mariachi bands. But my absolute favorite thing to do is to go to Zandunga for Sunday comida hosted by my dear friends Gil Gutierrez and his wife, Rebecca. Gil is one of Mexico’s finest musicians.
I love the store at Sollano 16. A woman from Santa Barbara named Anne Harte opened it in an old colonial building, and you can find beautiful housewares and accessories from Mexico and all over the world.
I work with a metalsmith here, Julio Miguel Pérez Rodriguez. He hand-pounds everything and creates all the intricate details in our Alpaca and Tumbaga collections. When we did the exhibition at the High [Gogo: Nature Transformed, on display in 2013], the museum arranged for him to come up, and he was just blown away to see the collaboration of our work.
Inspired by San Miguel
“When the jacaranda bloom in May, the whole town is ultraviolet purple.”
Among other places, Gogo pieces are available at the High Museum of Art gift shop, her eponymous store in Redfern Village on St. Simons Island, and at gogojewelry.com.
This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Style Book.