What: A marriage of vintage and modern, using wood beads, Czech glass, various natural stones, Swarovski crystals and tribal beads in earrings, bracelets and necklaces ranging from $8-$60.
Who: Julie Burke hasn’t always made jewelry, but she’s always had a thing for it. “I kept telling my husband that I should try to make jewelry,” she says. So her husband got her a starter kit and gift card at Beadlush. She was instantly hooked. She kept her day job as a payroll associate but started going to weekend shows and festivals.
“(That job) was not something that I really wanted to do ... I always wanted to be able to express my creativity,” she says. In February 2013, she began working at 32 Flavors Boutique, a Huntersville store with local, national and fair trade offerings. She also sold her items there. The store moved to Dilworth in 2013, and when the owner contemplated selling, Burke “hated to see it go.” She and her husband took it over in 2014. She works there six days a week and does her creating on nights and weekends.
How: Burke’s methods include beading, wire wrapping and taking apart vintage pieces to repurpose – or as Burke says, upcycle – them.
On balancing the business: “I stopped making jewelry for a while, which was really, really hard. But I needed to focus on getting designers in the shop.” She’s since found her groove and her inspiration: “It’s not until I’m caught up on everything else that I can pick up again ... As the seasons change, I find that I’m most inspired to make new pieces.”
Favorite current piece: A necklace made with a ’60s brooch she found in Asheville, plus other vintage necklaces bought on vacations.
Find it: www.32flavorsboutique.com; 704-332-5332.