bel monili | Upcycled Vintage Cluster Bracelet
If you haven’t figured it out yet I am a big fan of really cool, handmade jewelry. Tonight’s Gift Guide Giveaway features yet another FOLK partner who’s creations I proudly wear. For the special girl on your list who loves unique, vintage jewelry check out bel monili by lmarlane!
Lucy shares her story below:
”My name is Lucy McClure, and I am the owner/artist of bel monili by l.marlane. I hand-craft jewelry and accessories using vintage and re-purposed materials, including vintage earrings, chain, books, buttons, flowers, and much more. Each item I make is uniquely one of a kind, making it an affordable piece of wearable art.
As a child, I had the incredible good fortune to have a Bubbie (grandmother) who was an entrepreneur herself. Bubbie was an amazingly talented painter, and upon retirement she opened a small antique shop called Agnes’ Antiques, which was quite fortunately right down the block from my childhood home. I spent many afternoons in her little shop, learning about the history of the beautiful pieces, helping Bubbie arrange vignettes and window displays, and watching her interact with her many customers/fans/friends. Bubbie also took Agnes’ on the road: I spent many Saturday afternoons perusing antique shows, again learning how to treat these rare beautiful items as well as how to be a businesswoman. It was all those years ago when I learned the value of supporting handmade, American made, and entrepreneurship.
Today, for my “day job”, I am a speech-language pathologist at a suburban elementary school. I love every minute of my job, and one of the best features is that it allows me the time and availability to indulge my artistic side.
My artistic journey began two years ago in the summer of 2010. My boyfriend was traveling extensively for work, and I was looking to learn some new things. I have always been creative and crafty, so when I noticed a special on classes at a local craft store, I signed up for a few jewelry making sessions. After the first class, I knew that I really had something. I seemed to have a natural knack for the mechanics of jewelry making and (according to the class teacher and several onlookers) a good eye for color and scale. I was hooked instantly, and spent the rest of the summer happily making jewelry for myself and my friends.
I quickly began to receive requests from people to buy my items, which was a welcome bonus to my new found hobby. I got to the point where I had so many interested buyers, I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and apply to be a vendor at a craft show. I had shopped at the I Made It! Markets since their inception, so it seemed like a good place to begin. I applied for the I Made It! Market at the WYEP Rock the Block, and (much to my surprise) I was accepted! From that point on my jewelry making went from a small side hobby to the full-fledged business it is today.
I am honored to have so many loyal customers and online “fans” who have whole-heartedly supported me and my business. It seems like every day my business grows to new heights, be it through retail opportunities, personal acknowledgements, or national shows/events.
bel monili has had the distinct honor of working with non-profit organizations including the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Pittsburgh and National Chapters and Go Red for Women. We have been featured in Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, and FOLK Magazine, and bel monili’s flower pins were featured in the giveaway bags at the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. bel monili is an Ultimate Artist Sponsor of the I Made It! Market, and we have participated in local and national artist shows including The Country Living Fairs, I Made It! Market, Bazaar Bizarre, and Handmade Arcade.
You can purchase Lucy’s designs in her etsy shop or in any of the following stores:
Boutique 208 www.facebook.com/boutique208
Spoiled Chics www.spoiledchics.com
Pageboy Salon & Boutique www.pageboypgh.com
Wholly Craft www.whollycraft.net
Enter to Win a bel monili upcycled vintage cluster bracelet by leaving a comment on this post. What did you learn from your own Grandmother? TWO winners will be selected on December 14th and contacted via email.
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