Skin-Care Guru Lesley Thornton Decorates Her Wall Unit With a Collection of Ceramic Art | Architectural Digest


What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actorsto tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.


When Lesley Thornton started her career as an esthetician, her signature facials initially brought clients in. But she quickly realized that a lot of them stayed because they were interested in not just her expertise, but her overall preference on skincare: Effective skincare, beauty, and wellness connected to beautiful aesthetics. “I didn’t see anything like that on the market, and I didn’t see Black people in that space. So in 2015, I started gravitating from doing facials and treatments, and focused on all the things I loved,” she recalls. That’s what led her to launch her skincare company Klur in 2019. “I felt that if clients actually had better products, they wouldn’t have to see me as often. They could see results with their own routines,” she says.

Alongside building a beauty brand, the Los Angeles native believes that her underlying purpose is to build community as well. “I don’t think of Klur as a company that just makes products,” she explains. “There’s so much more that we can do with our brand and using our platform. A lot of what we center now is food. Healthy food and access to food quality are priorities, especially in fighting food apartheid. One of my goals is to continue to elevate that subject.”


Lesley’s current display, featuring the pieces that resonate with her most at the moment.

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Lesley’s most prized possession is her 250-piece collection of American ceramic art, all handmade by various artists, that she’s been curating for the past 17 years. The very first piece that kicked off her collection was a jug shaped like an onion. “Just finding that inspiration in pottery, how the natural design of an onion can literally be replicated in a ceramic with clay, you’re taking that same beautiful shape that nature has created and turning that into a piece of art,” she says.

When and how?

Lesley started collecting pottery back in 2005, and she has continued to pick up unique pieces while traveling, browsing flea markets, connecting with artists directly, and visiting yard sales. She looks for original works that tell a story using color and texture, and she acquired her first piece after seeing an ad on Craigslist. When she arrived to view it in person, she discovered that the artist had other pieces not listed in the ad, and one in particular caught her eye. “I asked him, What about that piece there in the corner? And he said, No, it’s really not for sale,” she remembers. “I said, Well, what is it gonna take for me to have that piece?” Negotiations began, and the rest was history.

An original handmade item from Lesley’s collection with detailing at the top of the jug.

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After purchasing the first piece, Lesley was inspired to purchase a second, a third, and so on. She displays most of her collection on a 1950s Paul Cadovius modular wall unit, and occasionally switches out pieces when she wants to shake things up a bit.


Growing up admiring quintessential California midcentury design taught Lesley the importance of good design and how it makes our lives better. She noticed that when design is good, it often goes underappreciated, but when it’s flawed or doesn’t flow, people notice right away. Understanding the role of design informs many choices in her business and in what resonates with her when selecting new additions to her pottery collection.

Lesley also points out that pottery and community have more in common than people might realize. “With a collection of beautiful pottery, we can see that no two parties are ever alike. We embrace each piece for its texture, its uniqueness. That can be reflected in our communities in that no two people are alike,” Lesley says. “We continue to grow as people, and I see the same thing with pottery. It becomes more valuable, more precious as the time goes on. Beautiful collections of things are not linear, and neither is community.”

Pieces from Lesley’s collection gathered from flea markets and direct sales from the artists.

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Arthur Andersson Mid-Century Stoneware Vase, Sweden C. 1950s

Pottery Barn Artisan Vase Collection


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