What: Necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, handcrafted using vintage and semi-precious components from chains to stones. Family jewelry upfits are 60 percent of her business; prices range from $30-$300.
Who: Laura James’ father is, without a doubt, the one to thank for her inspiration. Fond memories from her childhood include the two of them seeking out gem and mineral shows and digging for arrowheads near plantations in Mississippi. Seeing his daughter’s love for the jewels, he often gave her special, brightly colored trinkets, which fueled her passion for all things sparkly. “I would spend hours poring over my mother and grandmother’s jewelry boxes, enamored with the sparkles but mostly the stories that came with them,” she recalls. To this day, she prefers working with vintage and estate pieces.
How: James first deconstructed a piece of jewelry at the age of 6, and she was immediately hooked. Her hobby’s creations soon started turning heads, and James began creating for others, then selling to boutiques in town. In 2009, she opened her own studio boutique in Dilworth, where she spends her time creating and selling her creations. “Being located in the historic district in Dilworth just makes sense for what I do,” she says.
Her ideal customer: “My ideal customer appreciates great quality and unique finds,” she says. “This customer understands the rarity these days of the actual designer available to help them in person, happy to tweak anything at their request or take a family heirloom and work it into something more wearable for them.”
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Current favorite piece: The vintage gold rhinestone statement necklace (pictured). “It is truly one of a kind, screams vintage ... and is just plain cool.”