Feature Designer

Jewelry without jewels? When I first came across a blog which mentioned Erica Holzberg's work, I was initially intrigued and then delighted when I saw why she called her growing business so. You don't see any beads at all. Her necklaces are made from fabric which is wrapped around large beads. It's no surprise her necklaces are a big hit as they are fun and colourful pieces to wear and coordinate with outfits. Her fans like these women below even send her photos of themselves wearing her jewelry. Some buyers even sport more than one. They are also wonderful alternatives for people who are allergic to metal.

Erica, who is from Connecticut, first started making these necklaces for herself three years ago. She was doing some part-time waitressing then to make extra money. Lo and behold, her customers and co-workers were soon ordering her creations. She said,"I found myself going home with more money from selling necklaces than tips! It seemed I couldn't make them fast enough to sell - and from that moment, I knew I had created something different and fun." She now maintains an inventory of ready to wear designs and also does custom designs. She points out that using someone's special piece of fabric as a necklace allows the person to wear it as a sentimental piece of jewelry. Much better than keeping it in a drawer or box!

You can check out what Erica is up to on her website . From there she takes orders via email ( jewelrywithoutjewels@gmail.com). Erica is now a first grade teacher who also donates 10% of her jewelry sales to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation which is a non-profit organization working to restore instrumental music education in American public schools. Right now Jewelry Without Jewels is just a part time business but who knows what the future holds for Erica? She loves making jewelry and perhaps one day, she will be able to make a living from her jewelry.

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