Emily Jane: Jewelry Transformation

Jane (left) and Emily

I don't consider myself a huge jewelry wearer or a jewelry hound- in fact I find the whole process of selecting something valuable that I am supposed to like for the rest of my life quite intimidating. So I tend to wear the same pieces over and over, rarely looking into that dusty jewelry box reminding me of past mistakes. Since re-using and buying local is such good practice, I have turned to one of the few places I actually find enjoyable to shop for jewelry- Emily Jane, to refashion some 80's jewelry into something I would actually wear.

Emily Jane on NE Broadway doesn't put their wares, cold and aloof under a sheet of glass where one must ask to touch and only guess about prices. Instead, all the jewelry is arranged in large jewelry boxes placed around the room, inviting you to open all the little drawers like a treasure hunt and try things on as you please. A little hand lettered sign invited me to bring in dated jewelry to be turned into something wonderful here at the shop.

A flashback brings me to my years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I had purchased a few pieces at the souk (market) and believing myself to be playing it safe, had chosen a single strand of pearls and a thick strand of freshwater pearls. Unworn twenty-some years later, and with my friend K along for emotional support, we brought the 1980's spoils into the shop for Jane MacLellen and her staff to work their magic on. Sitting at the counter, Jane took note of my personal style and asked lots of questions about my likes and dislikes, eventually bringing out different materials for possible use in the transformation and staging them next to the pearls in question. I had no worries about how the assortment of chains and baubles might look, but only what I found appealing. We discussed price ranges based on my choices, which materials would eventually be chosen, and the difficulty of execution. 

The next step? In two weeks I will get to look at several sketches of each piece and make my final choice. I can't wait to see- stay tuned. Pictures of dull 80's jewelry begging for shoulder pads and potential new materials.