Jewelry. Baubles. Gems. Accessories. Whatever you call the finishing touch to your style is simply just a name. It is the culmination of hard work, inspiration, materials, and detail behind the name that demands recognition and brings these creations to life. Luckily for all of us, the Queen City’s jewelry design landscape is flourishing with skill, artistry, and enthusiasm. So much so that our city’s designers are not only thriving within the city limits, but are gaining notoriety across the country. From Ballantyne to NoDa, these are the most talented faces behind the Charlotte jewel pool.
Erin McDermott Jewelry
The UVA and FIT alum honed her craft while interning with several jewelry designers in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was there where she learned to weld and developed her own sense of individual style. Her jewelry is crafted out of materials like semi-precious stones, recycled beach glass, freshwater pearls, and sterling silver. She had a customer once describe her jewelry as “two-table” jewelry… the type of jewelry you can see two tables away. Erin also designs custom pieces for weddings, and little girls, which you can check out on her website www.ErinMcdermott.com. Her gems are available locally at Cottage Chic at 1232 East Blvd. and Isabella at 715 Providence Rd.
Faith & Hope Rivers
Eclectic and timeless, these power twins create jewelry that you can feel comfortable wearing. “Our clients fall in love with the details and appreciate that they don’t have to keep it in their jewelry chest because it’s too fragile or only crafted for display purposes,” says Faith Rivers. MoaZen Jewelry is sectioned off in three collections: Signature, Urban, and Earth. Every season they highlight a different country or culture as the foundation for their jewelry inspiration. These two love to mix it up when it comes to material combinations, pairing fabric with gemstones, or shell, coral, and leather to make something truly unique. Faith and Hope also mentor young ladies in their “Designer in Training” program, which allows young women to sharpen their creative skills and learn a trade. They also have programs for young women at CMS schools and with the Head Start program. Purchasing their jewelry helps fund community outreach. Visit them at their boutique at 512 15th Street in Charlotte or online at www.MoazenJewelry.com.
Laura James Jewelry
If you love jewelry with a story, than Laura James is your gal. She has an uncanny way of transforming something old and forgotten into pieces that are one of a kind and full of life. Laura describes her style as a “Juxtaposition…pairing unexpected organic stones with vintage components,” and believes that “If the piece tells a story then it is often a piece that will be treasured.” From humble beginnings creating jewelry for her friends, Laura’s jewelry is now a staple amongst celebrities like Jessica Alba, Jessica Szhor, and Rumer Willis, and has been featured in Lucky Magazine and The Today Show. You can visit her shop in Dilworth at 1419 East Blvd., Suite K, or view her products online at www.LauraJamesJewelry.com.
Green Market Girl
As the sister company of S.J. Hilger interiors, a home design business in Charlotte, Green Market Girl takes the unused wood from designs and re-purposes them into Eco Cuffs. Her jewelry is “…smart, sexy and artsy. We strive to create varied and unique styles, making them an option for day and evening wear,” says Susan. Her fresh approach is achieved by taking chances with different colors and designs. Her cuffs are environmentally friendly, very stylish, and available for purchase online at www.GreenMarketGirl.com or www.SmashingDarling.com and locally at Beadlush at 1217 The Plaza, Boulevard at Southend at 1440 S. Tryon St, and Boris & Natasha at 1214 Thomas Ave.
Martha Clifford & Morgan Walker
This fairly new aunt and niece jewelry duo made their debut with custom handbags. When Martha decided to add jewelry to her business’ repertoire she turned to her fashionably savvy niece, Morgan and the rest is history. Their inspiration for Melvin comes from a variety of avenues including exotic animals, insects, African mud cloths, and even the hunting lifestyle of the South. Morgan describes their vibe as “edgy and artsy, with a vintage look,” achieving it with the use of materials like leather, thread, beads, bullets and different metals. Melvin’s big break came when Taylor Swift wore their earrings in the September 2011 issue of Teen Vogue. Find Melvin Jewelry in town exclusively at Poole Shop at 4010 Sharon Rd.
Talent runs through Cleo’s veins. She is a skilled musician, fashion designer and jewelry designer. Her line can be described as eclectic, featuring fun statement pieces that really stand out. Cleo uses leather, fabric, feathers and even plastic and turns it into beautiful ear candy. Her most popular designs are her feather earrings and big floral hoops that are full of vibrant colors. You can find her collection locally at Vivian B. Boutique at 3100 N. Davidson St., Eye Candy Apparel at 4456 The Plaza, and Oomph Boutique at 8833 Arbor Creek Dr.
Kathleen describes her collections as “Jewelry you can dress up an ordinary outfit with, and also compliment a gown.” Her style is noticeably elegant and can be worn by women of all generations. Kathleen takes a cue from the colors of each season and incorporates them into her jewelry by using light-weight gold, silver, filigree, colored beads, ribbon, and even natural leaves. You can purchase her jewelry online at www.MurphyJewelry.com or in local boutiques Scout & Molly’s at 3920 Sharon Rd. and Ruby’s Gift Myers Park at 2910 Selwyn Ave.
Prissy Kisses Couture
What do you do when you’re tired of your old jewelry? Revamp them of course, and that’s just how it started with Key Hawkins. Key makes her earrings big and bold, finding inspiration in Hollywood and the trends of the moment. Although Prissy Kisses just launched in late 2011, Key’s designs, made from vintage gold beading, wooden beads, and recycled clothing pieces, have already caught the attention of music celebs like Christina Milian, Mya, and Tiffany Evans . Snatch up her designs at Vivian B. Boutique. at 3100 N. Davidson St.
Christi Pack & Jessica Stanfield
Towne & Reese
What happens when two friends decide they’ve had enough of spending a fortune for high priced statement jewelry? They put together an amazing bauble business and name it after their daughters, of course. Christi and Jessica have become a staple among local Charlotte boutiques and local ladies, such as Charlotte’s very own Bachelorette, Emily Maynard. Their earrings are purposely light-weight, made with gold or silver plated metals, and detailed with anything from acrylic to semi-precious stones. Find Towne & Reese in a variety of shops like Scout & Molly’s, Sloan, KK Bloom, Traditions and Buttercup and visit their website, www.TowneAndReese.com, for a complete listing of shops near you.
Trudy, Bailey & Madison Green
Trudy and her daughters, Bailey and Madison, design eclectic pieces to compliment their family boutique. By eclectic, Trudy means, “We describe our jewelry by saying it’s inspired by royalty and recreated with an urban twist.” Even the patriarch of the family, Randy, has gotten into the bling biz by hammering coins for their newest collection. Halo resonates a bohemian feel by working with antique and vintage buttons, burnished gold and silver, semi-precious stones, and copper. Halo Handmade has an Etsy store for select pieces, as well as a website you can visit at www.HaloHandmade.com and is sold exclusively at SoBo Loft at 1820 South Blvd.