Made in Charlotte: Jewelry

Visiting workshops of Charlotte
Kristin Hayes often uses vintage materials to make jewelry that she hopes will be passed from one generation to the next.

Kristin Hayes Jewelry
Kristin Hayes’s jewelry is influenced by life’s big questions: love, loss, marriage, mortality. Whether crafting diamond earrings for a bride or a necklace that she hopes a mother will pass on to her daughter, each piece is personal. “In my mind I’m always kind of telling a story,” she says. Brides from as far as way as Ireland, Greece, and Australia buy her pieces, and Martha Stewart Wedding plans to feature her jewelry this fall.

Bly Design
Katie Bly is drawn to mixing opposites—matte and shiny, vintage and modern, lambskin leather and quartz crystal. “Generally I do like the contrast of something soft and something edgy,” she says. When possible, she uses materials from local suppliers and draws inspiration
from the arts district around her NoDa neighborhood.,

Jewels by Julia
These are the kind of earrings you’d buy for your best friend—simple gold or silver designs with colorful stones. They’re often priced around $20 and named after men: Elton, Frank, Skylar. Jewelry designer Julia Teague says some of the guys are friends who helped launch her business, and others she chose just for fun. She moonlights as a bartender at Triple C Brewing Company and can teach you how to build an earring display rack out of wine corks.

Longtime jeweler Lee Lally calls his shop “the anti-jewelry store.” Rather than navigate the crowds searching for engagement rings at the mall, shoppers can relax in his NoDa store. “We’re very inviting and chill, no pressure.” Lally’s wife, Katie McFadden, opened the shop in October 2010, and an apprentice jeweler has since joined their team. They specialize in high-quality gemstones, primarily for commissioned pieces, all of which are made in-house.

Olive Yew
In 2011, Angela Parker-Kennedy was a burnt-out graphic designer who took a local metalsmithing class and started making jewelry out of her home. Now her company has seven full-time employees and an office near Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Olive Yew (pronounced “I love you”) has been featured in Self magazine and recommended by a former Glamour editor. The simple, petite pieces are all handmade and sold exclusively online.

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