The Good Life: The Mix: Trendspotting: Local Jewelry Makers

A look at the local jewelry-making scene

First it was silk-screening t-shirts. Then it was designing handbags and baby clothes. Now, Philly’s seeing an outright explosion of local jewelry makers. These creative types — mostly young professional women and art-school grads — have taken the art form from hobby-on-the-side to full-time careers, resulting in diverse baubles sold in boutiques from the suburbs to Center City.

Kimberly Boutique (123 South 16th Street; 215-564-1066) gives countertop real estate to dangly earrings from Zalinda, and Cheree Amour (1040 North 2nd Street, 215-625-0225; showcases necklaces by SOULdivine. Joan Shepp (1616 Walnut Street; 215-735-2666) recently added an in-store boutique for well-known local goldsmith John Wind’s vintage-flair pieces. And renegade shop owners like Conspiracy Showroom’s Typhaney Bennett (910 North 2nd Street; 215-925-2153) and Art Star’s Erin Waxman (1030 North 2nd Street, unit 301; 215-238-1557) sell nature-themed pieces (pictured) and bold cuff bracelets, respectively, in their stores. But what this new gem-wielding generation has discovered is that success requires an artistic eye and business acumen. And therein lies the real challenge. Because at the end of the day, the bottom line is just as important as the clasps or karats they use.