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