Creative Louisville: Laura Holmes * Kluster Jewelry

Meet Laura.

I can’t exactly remember how I first met Laura Holmes, the eternally bubbly and positive founder of Kluster Happy Jewelry, but I’m definitely happy that our paths crossed. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Laura in my PR gig though both Kluster and her involvement with Nulu Festival – her cheery demeanor is contagious and her love for color is always evident. She’s like a walking Pantone color book (I say that in the most complimentary way possible) and her studio is a true reflection of both her interests and personality.

She’s a true entrepreneur as well – running two successful businesses from her home. Not only do her talents extend to the creative design side of things but she also runs an accounting consulting business, P is for Possible, that helps other small businesses make sense of the madness that is taxes and accounting. She’s also expecting her first baby later this year. Yeah, she’s a busy gal.

I’m lucky enough to own a few pieces of Kluster jewelry and no matter the season, I break them out time after time. Her jewelry is classic and timeless, even more important, it’s exceptionally well-made so they make for a great gift (even if it’s a treat yourself gift!). On that note, she’s got a pretty major sale going on now through Valentine’s Day  – 40% off EVERYTHING with code CUPID.  So read all about Laura, Kluster and her Louisville favorites then head over to do a little shopping!

GENERAL 

* Name: Laura Neutz Holmes

* Company: Kluster Happy Jewelry

* Title (be as creative or straight-forward as you like): Founder/Creative

* How did you get started in your field? In late 2011, quite by accident, my long-time hobby making jewelry took on a life of its own and morphed into Kluster Happy Jewelry.

* What inspires you? All. The. Colors.

* What three words describe your work best: happy, colorful, classic

* What three words describe YOU best: smiley, outspoken, analytical

* One thing about you that might surprise people: I’m a certified management accounting with a biz degree from UofL! #nerdalert

 

LOUISVILLE 

* Why Louisville? So many people end up leaving Louisville, what helped keep you in the 502?: Yummy food and my closest 50 family members that all live here. (I actually see most of them weekly!)

* Favorite Louisville Neighborhood: NuLu! I served on the NuLu Business Association board for four years and fell in love with the neighborhood and the people. <3 

* Favorite Spot for a Drink: Mussel Burger Bar’s red sangria. Cravings all day, every day.

* Favorite Lunch Spot: Manny & Merle

* Favorite Dinner Spot: Oh man, so many choices. I’ve been very into sushi nights at Kansai lately. And their hibatchi is the best in town!

* You’ve got to try (or go to): The cheese queso with black beans at Manny & Merle.

* Favorite Festival: NuLu Fest!

* Favorite Pizza Spot: Tony Boombozz’s – Portabello Bello

* If someone is visiting from out of town and only has time to go to three places, where do you send them? Atlantic No. 5 for lunch, shopping at Revelry Boutique Gallery, and a rosemary lemonade and cookie at Please & Thank You!

 

 

JUST LAURA 

* We can’t start this feature without asking about COLOR! What’s your all-time favorite color? What color are you loving right now? My all-time favorite color would definitely be poppy (a pretty red-orange coral-y color)! And right now, I’m trying to pick nursery colors, and a sweet clover + emerald green keeps catching my eye.

* What inspired you to start Kluster? When I was 16, I went on a family vacation to Florida and discovered a store where you could design your own earrings from a huge assortment of stones and shells. I freaked out and spent like 3 hours in that place! I was hooked. I came home, took a few jewelry making classes, and starting ordering bright stone beads to play with. The rest is history. 😉

* What has been the biggest pinch me moment since launching the line? Having our featured on Good Morning America’s Deals & Steals with Tory Johnson was a super fun week!

* How has Kluster changed since you started? Oh goodness, we’ve gotten so much better at pretty much everything!! We have more colors, a whole collection of petite sizes, and the prettiest product photos thanks to Whitney Neal and Ryan Smith.

* Who is your dream collaborator – brand or person? Seeing Kluster jewels in a J.Crew catalog would def give me the squeals!

* Who would you just die to see wearing a piece of Kluster jewels? Oh Joy’s founder, Joy Cho! I just love her colorful, playful style.

* What is your all-time favorite piece? The Luxe Merry Cherry Necklace in Red Jade – so classic!

* What’s next for Kluster? That’s a good question! I’m headed to St. Louis for a year this summer (and then I’ll be back in the Lou!) and we’re expecting our first child in June, so the plans are all a bit jumbled right now. Keep you posted?!

You may recognize Kluster from…. 

My Louisville blogger bestie Grace – A Southern Drawl –  rocking the lime green Kluster three strand necklace. 

Me on a much warmer, much less pregnant day wearing the pink Kluster single strand necklace. 

 

Shopping: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Gals

Valentine’s Day, Shalmentine’s Day.

No this is not some Bitter Betty post about Valentine’s, so don’t get all in a twist. Here’s the thing. I dig Valentine’s Day in the sense that I love candy (LOVE candy) and the opportunity to tell someone you love them when you might not otherwise be so inclined. I think Valentine’s Day is a little overblown in the whole ‘do something super romantic and sometimes pricey’ sense. If that’s your thing, more power to you. I think I’d be on board if I had more disposable cash and was looking for a reason to embrace the ‘treat yoself’ mantra. But I’m not and so, I can’t.

Here’s the other thing with Valentine’s Day. You’re going to see all kinds of really cute, adorable, sweet things and your man is, more than likely, not going to get any of them for you. He’s not combing the online Valentine’s Day gift guides looking for some sweet treat. At least mine isn’t. So that’s why I fully embrace the Valentine’s Day as a (and I know it’s cheesy) Galentine’s Day. Back in college, my bestie Kelly and I would always exchange Valentine’s Day gifts. And it’s a tradition we (almost always) continue to this day. Just a little happy to show my best gal that she’s loved.

At my office, we do a Secret Cupid gift exchange that works exactly like Secret Santa except no guys are allowed (is that an HR violation? oh well, we don’t care – it would be weird). A couple years ago, one of my friends even threw a Favorite Things party and it was the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. I went home with a few awesome favorite things, drank wine, hung out with good people and called it a night. No pressure, all fun.

So my vote for Valentine’s Day is to round up some gal pals for a fun gift exchange (White Elephant style would work too) over drinks. Or just snag a sweet treat for yourself to enjoy while combing through that Russell Stover’s box for all the good chocolates.

valentine's day collage

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p.s. – I can’t say enough good things about the Kate Moss Rimmel lipsticks. So good and under $5.
Oh and if you go for the rosebud salve, go for the tube. WAY less messy than the tubs.

 

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