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CLT Made: zbeads by Mara

African opal, rose bud cloisonné beads, crystal and matte gold chain; $130.
African opal, rose bud cloisonné beads, crystal and matte gold chain; $130. Courtesy Mara Dressler

What: Necklaces, bracelets and earrings made with a medley of current and vintage beads; prices start at $45.

Who: A Realtor by day, Mara Dressler went into Beads Inc. (formerly Beads on a String) with a vision for a necklace she wished to have made. The women at the store helped her put it together while Dressler took in their process. She continued frequenting the store and admits that it was soon a beloved hobby. “The more I tried to make jewelry on my own, the more I learned,” she said. While she continued her day job, she began designing in her free time. “It’s my creative outlet. ... I’ve always needed a way to express my creativity.”

How: Beading and wire wrapping are the two techniques Dressler incorporates into her work. She’s self-taught; she’s never taken a class. Dressler travels to bead shows where she finds inspirational pieces to put into her work. “I tend to incorporate a lot of African and Tibetan. I only make one-of-a-kind pieces. I will duplicate upon request, but no two pieces are exactly alike.”

Favorite piece: “My favorite piece is a necklace with white disks and pearls and brass spacers in-between; they are vintage findings. The longer glass tubes are from a vintage chandelier; the gold dagger-looking beads are Czech glass. I love that it’s got a mix of new and old; it’s just different.”

Find it: Boris + Natasha in Plaza Midwood, or on Instagram @zbeads; 704-728-9422.

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