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. 

 

Creative Louisville: Emily Maynard * Elva Fields

Meet Emily. 

CreativeLouisvilleEmilyMaynardOne of the best things about starting this blog has been the people I’ve met on account of it. One of the more awkward things since starting this blog has been the moment you see someone in real life that you’ve “met” or “know” online. It can be bumbling, a little uncomfortable at first and kind of a dance – not knowing what to say, how familiar to be. But absolutely none of those things happened when I first met Emily – the inspiring lady behind Elva Fields. It was like meeting a long-lost relative. She’s warm, welcoming, endearing, engaging and just real.

Emily immediately puts you at ease and within moments of meeting, she felt like an old friend. Since that first quick chat at a fashion event, I’ve had the chance to hangout with her a couple times at her studio on Frankfort Avenue. The studio is just like Emily – bright, inviting, full of light and brimming with color. The two times I’ve been there, I’ve lost track of time, wanting to spend my whole afternoon pouring over beads and brooches.

One afternoon, a group of us even got the chance to take one of Emily’s jewelry making classes – learning her ways and crafting our own Elva Fields piece. I still wear mine almost once a week (i’d wear it more if I hadn’t made it so dang heavy!). I think it may have been the most relaxing afternoon I’ve had in years. Seriously.

But enough about my less than stellar jewelry making skills. You’re going to love getting to know Emily – whose skills are unmatched – and will love shopping her beautiful pieces even more. I can also vouch for the majority of her Louisville picks. Lots of favorites in her list.

studio door
GENERAL 

* Name: Emily Wheat Maynard

* Company: Elva Fields

* Title: Chief in Charge

* How did you get started in your field?  Rather round-about-ly.  I spent two years studying decorative art history in New York City and wrote my Master’s Thesis on (here’s the part where you find out I’m a huge nerd…) The Extent of Ancient Influence in Italian Renaissance Jewelry. At the time, I was working as a Research Fellow in the jewelry archives of a museum and thought I wanted to to become a curator…but after taking a class in ancient metalsmithing as an independent study, I remembered how much I loved creating and making things.  I combined both interests and started Elva Fields after a bead-buying trip to the jewelry district, gathering some flea-market finds, and finishing graduate school. 

* What inspires you?  Everything. Truly, I occasionally wish I could turn it off.

What three words describe your work best: handmade, colorful, thoughtful

What three words describe you best: authentic, creative, late

One thing about you that might surprise people: I am currently raising two daughters and four venus fly traps.

LOUISVILLE 

* Why Louisville? So many people end up leaving Louisville, what helped keep you in the 502?: I grew up in Danville, moved here from New York City–it’s actually a pretty great combination of both.  (Plus, most of my family is here, which is amazing.)

* Favorite Louisville Neighborhood: Crescent Hill

* Favorite Spot for a Drink: the patio at Decca

* Favorite Lunch Spot: Blue Dog Bakery

* Favorite Dinner Spot: with kids, Bluegrass Burgers and without, Le Relais

* You’ve got to try: The Policeman’s Special at Comfy Cow.

* Favorite Festival: Forecastle

* Favorite Pizza Spot: Luigi’s Pizzeria on Main Street

* If someone is visiting from out of town and only has time to go to three places, where do you send them? The Palace for a show, 21c for art and a cocktail, and a picnic in Cherokee Park

* Where in Louisville can people find Elva Fields? In my studio on Frankfort Avenue, 21c [Museum Hotel], and VonMaur at Oxmoor


JUST EMILY

* How has the Elva Fields changed/evolved since you began? In a way, we’ve come back around to how we started…I evolved from running this business solo out of a guest room to having 4-5 assistants and a 1600 square foot storefront, and then–in the last two years–things took a bit of a turn and I have one wonderful assistant who handles most of our production, and I do the rest out of my new studio in Crescent Hill.  At heart, we’ve been the same all along: passionate about creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind designs by hand and connecting authentically with our customers. 

You do a lot of searching for the perfect materials for your pieces. What’s been your favorite find?  I remember one of the first vintage purchases I made, and it is still a favorite all these years later.  I was with my grandmother in south Florida, and we stumbled upon a 1930s celluloid necklace made of bright magenta floral medallions.  I ended up using the pendants in necklaces for my mother, grandmother, and dear friend that were among the first designs I ever created.  I’ve not seen another vintage necklace like it since.

* What’s been for your favorite spot to find materials? I’ve never met a flea market or antique mall I didn’t love, and The Crazy Daisy is a great one here in town.

* Whose style inspires you? My grandmother, who just passed away this summer at almost 94, was quite a stylish, lovely lady.  Her combinations of color and emphasis on classic, feminine fashions will forever influence the way I dress.  (I feel fortunate that she handed down many of her clothes and jewels to me…so she’ll always be with me in spirit and style.) 

Who would you love to see sporting Elva Fields? And what type of piece would they be wearing?  Honestly, it’s still a kick for me to see my jewelry on women in real life–it’s such a compliment to be included in someone’s everyday or meaningful special occasion in that way.

 What’s been a pinch me moment for your brand/career?  There have been a few: being featured at Anthropologie, tapped for a collaboration with C. Wonder, articles in some of my favorite magazines, and hunting for vintage treasures in markets all over the world…but every day that I wake up and still have a shot at doing what I love is a pinch-me moment. I realize that owning and running this business is an enormous gift, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to create.

What brands would you love to collaborate with? Truly, wide open.  Come one, come all.

What advice would you give someone starting up their own jewelry business? Cultivate your own style, have an original idea. Then, contact your local SCORE office and find yourself a business advisor.

What’s been your favorite piece you’ve ever made? I don’t play favorites, but I have held on to three necklaces in 13 years of Elva…one of them this one.  Not at all because it’s the most awesome one I’ve ever made, but he was quirky enough and seemed to want to stay.

What’s next for Emily and Elva Fields? Well, our Fall Collection for Elva Fields launches next Wednesday (the 9th), we’re developing our new equestrian-inspired line, EW Martingale, and–my favorite new thing–we’ve started teaching classes in the studio! 

Whether our BYOB workshop, where you bring in your own vintage jewel and pair it with beads from our stash and learn to create a necklace from it all, or our Mom and Me fun, learning to make a fun necklace with moms and kiddos (young or old!) and you each leave with your own design after a happy afternoon together, or even our Birthstone Charm Necklace class with wine, girlfriends, and gemstones–we’re having a ton of fun sharing our studio and our love of making things with others. Check out all the fall classes here.

Favorite Things: Special Delivery from Rocksbox

If you’re week has been anything like mine (aka hectic, filled with the flu, a tiny bit stressful), you’re going to appreciate today’s little pick me up. I’ve gushed about Rockbox before and after today you’ll have no excuse not to give it a try.

Here’s the run down: Each month Rocksbox sends you three, picked just for you, pieces of jewelry based on your personal style. Love statement necklaces – you can ask for them to send you three. Want to give midi rings a try with no commitment, let them know. They send you picks from designers like Loren Hope, Margaret Elizabeth, House of Harlow, Gorjana and Slate; you wear them for as little or as long as you like; when you’re done you pack them up, send them back and get three more to try. And if you fall in love with a piece, you can buy it for 20% off. Just like Birchbox or other subscription services, you just pay a monthly fee (it’s $19).

I tend to be kind of finicky when it comes to accessories. Love something and wear it constantly for a few weeks and then get bored, so this service is perfect for me.

Now here’s the part where your day gets better. Rocksbox is giving you a chance to try it out for a month for free. Just head over here and use code ‘daniellexoxo’ when you sign up. Once you fill out the style survey, your perfectly curated box will be arriving at your doorstep (and making your day) in no time.


Events + Style Spotting: Gumer & Co. ‘Diamonds, Drinks & Discounts’

Last week, Gumer & Co. Jewelry hosted a shopping event that was a combination of things I can definitely get behind. Diamonds, Drinks & Discounts. Yes please. 

Nothing like getting together over the holidays and picking out some new sparkly jewelry over a cocktail. I couldn’t make it to the party but some pals snapped some pictures of the set-up that included drinks from Copper & Kings and apps from Brownies The Shed. How pretty are those cocktail rings Emilee is sporting below?

In between the wining and dining, there was lots of trying on pieces from their gorgeous selection of jewelry.  How pretty are those cocktail rings Emilee is sporting below?

But it wasn’t all break the bank jewels. Gumer & Co. (225 S. Hurstbourne Parkway | 502.327.3330) has a ton of great gift options – like these Alex and Ani bracelets – that will put a smile on any gals face. You can even go in and pick out some favorites and then send your guy in to pick from the options. And if you know a guy looking to pop the question and make it a December to remember,  Gumer & Co. has a special right now where they will buy the groom’s wedding band when he seals the deal on an engagement ring for the bride-to-be. If you stop in, be sure to tell ’em you saw it here!

Ann Speltz – I’ll take that blazer, mmkay? 
Cocktails from Copper & Kings 
Martha Stephens, Meghan Hagedorn and Ian Crawford 
I’ll take one of each please. 

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