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Maker | Once Again Sam

Ben Ashby

Sarah Mandell makes the loveliest jewelry. Recently we sat down with the designer behind Once Again Sam to learn more...

Who are you:

I’m Sarah Mandell, the brains and busy hands behind Once Again Sam. Creating with my hands is what I look forward to each and every day. Although I’m a professionally trained artist and designer, I’m completely self taught when it comes to jewelry. I love to learn, and the best way I can describe myself is this: It’s not that I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, it’s that I want to do so many things. 

What do you make: 

Handmade jewelry intended for everyday-wear. My collection ranges from lightweight leather earrings made from repurposed thrift store clothing, to exotic wooden pendants turned on a lathe, to funky rings featuring tiny engraved pictures of everything under the sun. Some of my work is created with basic hand tools, while others require some pretty high tech stuff. I dream in texture, color, and pattern.

Where are you:

My home is Greenville, SC. I’m convinced it’s one of the most creative cities in the country! 

What is your brand:

It’s important to me to repurpose. There’s no such thing as a scrap in my studio. A great deal of the leather used in my jewelry collection is recycled. I buy upholstery shop off cuts by the pound, and search thrift stores for damaged, or lets face it, extremely ugly articles of clothing, and I give the material new life, once again, in a whole new way. Every piece of material has a backstory.

The main goal of my business is to have interesting, affordable jewelry available to everyone who wants it. There’s so much to choose from within my line, and almost everything is under $30, which means buying one-of-a-kind handmade pieces doesn’t always have to be a major investment. I want to make it easy for people to start their handmade jewelry collection, whatever their age, budget, or personal style. 

Why support makers:

Buying right from the source is an incredible thing. There’s a personal connection you can’t get any other way. As a maker who supports other makers on a regular basis, I can say from personal experience that meeting the actual person who designed, created, and poured themselves into an item I find beautiful or can’t live without, makes me treasure those items all the more. There’s always a story and a face that goes along with each maker-made piece. 

Why keep Main Street alive:

We need to remember our roots. The whole concept of the very first Main Streets was to bring together makers, specialists, and businessmen as a community so they could better serve their customers, improve their techniques, and eventually prosper. They succeeded together, in part because of each other. We still need that. We probably need it now more than ever. The Main Streets of America are part of a very special economy, and they matter. There’s certainly a time and place for manufacturing and mass production, but there should also be a place for people with a passion and specialized skills. 


To connect with her she has provided these links:  


My Etsy shop is here:

My personal website & blog are here:

Instagram: @onceagainsam


Twitter: @onceagainsam