StyleBlueprint: 7 Charlotte Boutiques We Love

Style Blueprint 7 Charlotte Boutiques We Love + Laura James Jewelry



March 6, 2016


We go weak at the knees for local, handmade jewelry, so Laura James Jewelry has us floored. Owner and designer Laura Schmelzer James offers a wide selection of pieces, from bold, revamped vintage necklaces to dainty gold earrings. She also proudly features a smaller selection of other jewelers’ pieces in the store as well. Shop at James’ sun-flooded studio and boutique in Dilworth, and you’ll no doubt leave with a treasured item you’ll hold dear for a lifetime!


Full Article

Charlotte Agenda Featuring Laura James!

We're beyond appreciative of the fantastic article Charlotte Agenda just did on Laura James! It goes like this...


 Charlotte Agenda features Laura James


Laura James of Laura James Jewelry

Meet the woman who makes jewelry out of shotgun shells
By Mary Gross | November 13, 2015
Views: 1769

I first heard of Laura James when my cute boyfriend bought me one of her handmade bracelets. I went to get the bracelet resized and was shocked at what I saw: beautiful, handmade jewelry that didn’t cost more than my rent.

(Seriously, she has pieces for $30. That’s like, only three salads and five caramels from Chopt.)

Not only are Laura’s pieces affordable, her store is also super laidback. Laura James Jewelry is basically the only jewelry store I feel comfortable going into wearing my typical outfit of jeans and a Bojangles’ T-shirt (besides maybe Claire’s).

Laura opened her shop in 2005. Laura James Jewelry is tucked away in Dilworth in the same complex as Something Classic. I met with Laura (who has an adorable Mississippi accent, by the way) to ask her some questions and touch all of her jewelry. Here’s what I learned:

My first question for Laura was “Why did you decide to open your shop in Dilworth?”

Laura James: “I feel like it really makes sense for what I do. My pieces have a handcrafted, artisan feel and this neighborhood understands that. Dilworth is also historic and a lot of the pieces I use are vintage. This is a good spot for me.”

Next, I asked Laura how she got her start in the jewelry making business.

Laura explained that she has memories of sitting on her bed and taking apart jewelry with her dad’s tools. Later in life she started making jewelry again, this time with her own tools. She said that people would stop her on the street and ask her where she got her pieces. That’s when she knew she had found her niche.

Laura then decided to go to Penland School of Crafts in Asheville to study metalworking. Although, disappointingly, she did not learn how to make spoons and guns, she did hone her jewelry making skills. But then Laura surprised me by saying that metalworking is only a small part of what she does. Apparently her specialty is reworking antique jewelry as well as turning random objects into wearable pieces. Laura took me around her shop to show me what she meant.

Laura has a ton of other odd knickknacks in her workshop that she plans to turn into pieces. I saw some antique charms and a piece of broken pearl that I’m pretty excited to see transformed.

At the end of our conversation Laura looked at me and said, “I want to have pieces that no one’s ever seen before.”

I’m pretty sure she’s achieved that.

The remainder of this article will serve as my Christmas list for my friends and family.




Laura James Jewelry interior by Laura James

Big News: Laura James Jewelry Just Got a Zagat Review!

Well, we are beyond thrilled and humbled by this finding…the prestigious Zagat reviewers chose to give our lofty treasure box business and boutique in Dilworth a glowing shout-out! We are so appreciative at this and could not have gotten here without all of our amazing customers. Thank-you!

Here's the Review!

Tucked into Dilworth’s Twin Oaks Shopping Center, this bright, glamorous studio and boutique is dedicated to handmade vintage-inspired jewelry, from cocktail rings to statement necklaces to bejeweled metal cuff bracelets, all by designer Laura Schmelzer James. In addition to shopping the collection, you can customize your own baubles, and it also carries a small selection of pieces from other independent jewelers.

Handmade at Amazon selected Laura James Jewelry!

Well, it's quite an honor for us here at Laura James Jewelry have been selected to sell on the new yet-to-launch Handmade at Amazon site! We are thrilled to have been included in this select group of Artisans, and are on pins and needles waiting to see how everything is going to go down. 

The concept of Handmade at Amazon is a good one- Offer Artisan jewelry and items to people all over the world. The items will not be imported, they will all be handmade. YES!

For those of you who love to shop on Amazon.com, you'll now have such a nice variety of well-crafted items to now pick from. You'll also have the option of shopping not only our Laura James Jewelry website and boutique, but now the convenience of shopping our jewels right on Amazon!

It's very exciting...stay tuned, we'll keep you posted once it's up and running! In the meantime, here's a look at how our "acceptance letter" went... :):


CLT Made: Laura James Jewelry

December 24, 2014

Charlotte STYLE  Charlotte Made: Laura James Jewelry

By: Kiran Dodeja Smith

What: Necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, handcrafted using vintage and semi-precious components from chains to stones. Family jewelry upfits are 60 percent of her business; prices range from $30-$300.

Who: Laura James’ father is, without a doubt, the one to thank for her inspiration. Fond memories from her childhood include the two of them seeking out gem and mineral shows and digging for arrowheads near plantations in Mississippi. Seeing his daughter’s love for the jewels, he often gave her special, brightly colored trinkets, which fueled her passion for all things sparkly. “I would spend hours poring over my mother and grandmother’s jewelry boxes, enamored with the sparkles but mostly the stories that came with them,” she recalls. To this day, she prefers working with vintage and estate pieces.

How: James first deconstructed a piece of jewelry at the age of 6, and she was immediately hooked. Her hobby’s creations soon started turning heads, and James began creating for others, then selling to boutiques in town. In 2009, she opened her own studio boutique in Dilworth, where she spends her time creating and selling her creations. “Being located in the historic district in Dilworth just makes sense for what I do,” she says.

Her ideal customer: “My ideal customer appreciates great quality and unique finds,” she says. “This customer understands the rarity these days of the actual designer available to help them in person, happy to tweak anything at their request or take a family heirloom and work it into something more wearable for them.”

Current favorite piece: The vintage gold rhinestone statement necklace (pictured). “It is truly one of a kind, screams vintage ... and is just plain cool.”

Laura James Jewelry Studio Boutique: 1419 East Blvd. Suite K; 704-372-1267 ; www.laurajamesjewelry.com .

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/24/5406061/clt-made-laura-james-jewelry.html#.VLfrUPR4qd0#storylink=cpy

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