Jess Leigh Jewels: Live in wonder

When Jess Leigh of Jess Leigh Jewels asked me if I was interested in sharing her “Live in Wonder” photo campaign here I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I met Jess Leigh several years ago when she was just starting to make jewelry and sell it at the boutique she worked at. Since that time I’ve witnessed her wholesale bracelet orders flourish into a full fledged business. Enjoy the pictures and make sure to scroll down to learn about Jess Leigh’s inspiration for the campaign. 
For additional photos head to the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. 

The concept for this collection and photoshoot was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. When I started to imagine the aspects of the story that were most inspiring to me, a few points really stuck out. The tea party is by far one of the most memorable parts of the stories of Alice. I thought about this particular scene for a long time. I wondered if maybe the tea party was more of a turning point in the story and the participants; instead of being mad or crazy, were they just realizing their own strengths and personalities?

Expanding on that, when Alice arrived in Wonderland what if instead of being a scared, naive, and insecure girl, Alice- through her trials and adventures in Wonderland- started to find herself, her security in herself, and her personal confidence? That was my concept for the photoshoot, to capture the transformation of Alice while she found her true identity. 

In order to best communicate this I chose three models with different styles but similar looks. The start of the shoot is stiff and posed with all three models dressed in Alice’s signature colors: blue,cream, and white. As the shoot continues the models separate and layer on jewelry, take off layers of clothing, and then change wardrobe completely. The end of the shoot is the tea party with three completely different girls all laughing and enjoying themselves. They are finally themselves, completely. 

With the line, I was trying to create something I have never done before- something recreate-able. {Note: Jess Leigh’s pieces are usually made from vintage and repurposed jewelry so each piece is one of a kind.}  A body chain, that is a lot like a collar, represents the feeling of Alice’s self-imposed oppression. Several long pendant necklaces with feathers represent the flowers in the garden in Wonderland. A bib necklace with jewels and sparkles represents the Cheshire Cat’s winning grin. A smaller bib necklace with flowing rhinestone chains represents the wings of the Gryphon. A butterfly hand jewel represents the bread and butterflies, and a feather cuff to represent the flamingoes in the croquet game.
Of course, I still have a penchant for all things one of a kind and for repurposing antiques. I collected as many compacts and pill boxes as I could in the months prior to launching the line. I drilled small holes in each with a drill press and fashioned them into necklaces named “Open Me.” I made earrings from chandelier crystals with unique designs on every pair. I also made large cocktail rings from as many vintage buttons, brooches, and stampings as I could find.
It is my hope to inspire others with this collection, shoot, and story. I love the idea of seeing wonder in everything and want to pass this along.
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Help Send Eklektik Ekhos To Nepal

Douriean Fletcher of Eklektik Ekhos has been invited to teach with an arts organization, Waters From Heaven, in Nepal this October. To help pay for the cost of the trip, including art supplies, she’s selling special tank tops to help raise funds on her website. Styles are available for both men and women. Pre-order yours by July 30th, knowing that you’ll be helping a talented artist share her craft with those in need.  

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Black Swamp Jewelry

While wooden jewelry often brings to mind stacked bangles that compliment a bohemian look, Black Swamp is a new jewelry line that brings a more sophisticated aesthetic. Eutawville, South Carolina based furniture designer Katie Thompson takes scraps, or off-cuts, from her handcrafted wood works to create each piece of jewelry. The line is eco-friendly and affordable, with prices ranging from $15 to $50. Pick up your new favorite necklace, bracelet, or earrings via Black Swamp’s online shop. 

“No two pieces are exactly alike. Using a combination of fine craftsmanship and other high quality metal materials I am able to create a line of jewelry that transcends a combination of styles and natural elements.” -Katie Thompson, creator of Black Swamp

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Culture Shock Giveaway

I’ve partnered with Culture Shock  to help spread the word about this new local, globally minded business.

Owner Christine Alexis decided to open her online store this past January, with the goal to “culture shock”. In addition to exposing customers to new cultures, a portion of sales goes to programs that focus on social justice.

In order to win, you must like their page on Facebook and comment below, stating which piece is your favorite on their website. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 27th.

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Sponsored: Anjolee Diamonds

At some point in a woman’s life, it’s important to have at least one or two serious pieces of jewelry. Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day present or a self bought sparkler, nothing makes you feel more like a grownup than leaving the plastic baubles behind.

Diamond necklaces and diamond tennis bracelets are great pieces to add to your bijoux wish list. Having been in the jewelry business for over 35 years, Anjolee Diamonds is a trusted name in the industry, and complies with the Kimberly Act, which means you’ll know that your diamonds have been sourced through legitimate channels. So whether you are celebrating a momentous occasion, or just because, Anjolee has a wide selection of all styles of jewelry to accommodate a wide variety of tastes.

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Treat Yo’Self Trunk Show

I can’t think of a better marriage than handmade jewelry and folk art, can you? Jupiter Lala and Rebecca Rebouche are teaming up this Friday for a special trunk show at Rebouche’s charming studio, The Beauty Shop.

In addition to the whimsical mixed media art and painstakingly detailed jewelry, there will be king cake, bubbly, and handmade paper fortunetellers.

Read up about Rebecca Rebouche via my Uptown Messenger article from this past summer, or head over to the Facebook event page to RSVP.

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What I Wore: Post Christmas Festivities

I’ve been enjoying three days off thanks to Christmas, and spending time with my sister while she’s in town. From watching bad reality shows at mom’s house on Xmas day, to introducing our dogs, a Greyhound and a French Bulldog, to each other and watching them fight over toys, it’s been a fun holiday break.
Our to do list also included supping at Matt & Naddies, a quaint bistro “where Freret meets the river.” With no hype or pretense, it’s certainly an underrated spot where only locals or in the know tourists go. I’ve been to Matt & Naddies a handful of times, and it never disappoints. Any excuse for a stellar meal- awww hell we don’t need an excuse, just good company and a reservation.

Filters and layouts result in album cover worthy iPhone pictures of my cats & neighborhood graveyard. 

Oversized hoop earrings: c/o Rue Belle Maui Paris
Grey sweater: Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx
Celine sunglasses, silk headscarf, F21 skirt, NWT Lucky Brand leggings, and Big Buddha bow shoes via Buffalo Exchange
Local art & the shrimp bowl at Sarita’s on Freret Street.

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Instagram Slam 2

Fish and shrimp tacos from Sarita’s.

A little gift from Baton Rouge based Mimosa by ME

It’s been a nonstop food fest these past few days. I don’t know if it’s sheer  resistance to grocery shopping, but I’ve been tearing up some of my favorite eateries as a little treat to myself. Good food isn’t the exception in New Orleans, it’s the norm.

Red gel polish to get me through the holidays.
Homemade toddies
Sea dog, tomato sour cream fries, and duck sausage from Dat Dog
Vegan Pho from Pho Viet. This is the small bowl.
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Hidden Baby: Helping babies one handbag at a time

I met sisters Kelsey and Courtney Montague back in August while they were in town spreading the word about Hidden Baby, their charitable accessories line. Quite the world travelers, the sisters have explored Kenya, and were inspired to help children in need both here in the United States and worldwide through their company.

While their bags are what started the company, the sisters have branched out into putting their designs shoes, scarves, and bracelets. I’ve been using the Iris Bag they generously gave me, and I must say it’s the perfect size for my laptop, wallet, and daily essentials. With each purchase you make, Hidden Baby helps children around the world by donating a portion of their profits to organizations that are helping give the next generation a chance. They are currently helping fund Baby Space, a Minnesota based group providing successful learning environments for babies in need.

With their work in Kenya, the sisters witnessed strife yet documented people working to provide safe havens for orphaned babies. Sadly, upon arriving home to the United States they realized similar situations occur here- malnutrition and neglect are indeed a global issue. That’s why a portion of the profits are donated to organizations around the world to give the next generation a chance. Purchase your own bag or accessories of choice today from Hidden Baby, and feel good about looking good and helping others.

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Secondline Jewels

written by JeLlyn Morvant
A reflection of a shared love for handmade, UPcycling, music and jewels.

Secondline is a representation of her southern roots,her second line of handmade
jewelry and the second life of broken drum cymbals.All growing from a gift her
husband made her with a piece from a broken drum cymbal. It seems he may
have inspired that niche she was searching for. I recall her journey clearly, she
would often get discouraged with faint spells of wanting to give up but like most
natural born creative types she could not stop creating. It’s just the nature of
creativity and inspiration. A special little life lesson, through love and
perseverance greatness can be attained.

In her own words taken from here and said so well.
“SECOND LINE JEWELS was born on the bayou of south Louisiana when a 
multi talented musician stepped into his wife’s world of jewelry design, and made her 
a necklace using one of his broken drum cymbals. This gift inspired a whole line of 
accessories combining the couple’s love of music and jewels. Second line is mostly 
created using chunks of upcycled brass drum cymbals along with other metals, including 
salvaged copper, sterling silver, and gold. Accents of precious/semi precious stones, 
vintage treasures, and random oddities are thrown in for an overall look that just rocks. 
Roz’s father and hubby are both percussionist, an art she has been exposed to since
she was a little girl. She is thrilled to have found a place for these heavy metals in her
work. Her collection is evolving and developing one piece at a time into something
uniquely beautiful. An expression of her own rhythm, consisting of what used to beat to
a different drum.

To upcycle and reuse is a part of her families everyday life and this is clear before you even 
walk through the door of their gypsy fenced yard.  A stones throw from downtown Lafayette 
is where Roz lives with her young family and where she creates her jewels of interest.  
Beautifully selected natural stone, an assortment of vintage treasures along with with hand cut,
shaped, filed, sanded and drilled drum cymbals combine to make her one of kind collection of    Secondline Jewels.
What would be your ideal way to spend your day?
sleep in, yoga, healthy lunch , make jewels, dinner with the fam, hot bath in the claw foot, 
a little DIY tv, early bedtime
What is your favorite thing about being a maker?
I can create whatever I want for others to enjoy and keep my most favorite pieces for myself.. 
as advertisement , of course!
What inspires you?
Pictures are very inspirational… if I feel a connection to it I try to create my version of that 
image, whether it be a piece of jewelry or a style of clothing, so I can have it for myself. 
I also love mixing shiny and earthy elements together- it feels necessary to achieve a balance 
of the two. I love rocks and stones..  I am amazed at what beauty lies in our earth.

What has been your biggest challenge along your creative journey? And your greatest joy?
MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE has been to find the time to create! I have 3 children now:
one in high school, one just starting school, and an infant. I think the inconsistency of
creating has been the culprit in whats taken so long for me to finally find my ‘niche’ 
in this business. 
MY BIGGEST JOY is to look back and see how far I’ve evolved, style wise, at what I do. ..
and I’m so excited about everything I have yet to learn, as well!

What advice have you learned along your way that has made a big impression on you, that you 
hold dear?
a wise girl once told me:
JUST OUR OWN UNIQUE VERSION OF ART.’ Somehow that took this huge 
pressure off of me and reminded me that the wheel has already been created, 
I just have to create my interpretation of it to be able to ride! It helped me to stop 
constantly comparing my work to others’. I believe her advice applies to all modalities 
of art. I think it’s important to impress this concept on kids , especially, so they can grow 
up being less critical of themselves and more accepting of their own and others’ creations.
Where would you like to see yourself creatively in the next year or two?

In the very near future, like ASAP, my goal is to quit my day job and work at home. 

Raising my babies. Where a mother belongs. as long as I can remember, I’ve longed for 
a creative niche. I’ve explored many styles and modalities of crafting, trying to bring it all 
together in one line that I can market and earn a decent living from. To have my passion 
feed me mentally, spiritually, and physically is my idea of the American dream. But no matter 
what, I want my kids to see me practice what I love everyday so they know it’s an important 
thing to do.

What do you admire most about being a southern gal? If you could live anywhere else where 
would you go?

Being a southern gal is almost an indescribable feeling to me. It’s like being part of the 
coolest club ever! It gives me license to be charming and sweet yet hard core all at the 
same time. A tough cookie in a big grand vintage dress with cowboy boots on:) If I could 
live anywhere it would be right here except add clear watering holes( I can’t relax in muddy water)and more outdoor activities that don’t require a boat. Honestly, I think I was born 
in the south for a reason. The strong sense of family that we are raised with here is such 
a blessing- one that I want to give to my children. I love adventures, but I know where 
my heart lives.

…and she thinks she’s not that interesting!  I believe she is in fact.
A wife, mother of 3, massage therapist and a maker.  She doesn’t have much free time 
but for the most part thats how she likes it. She likes having things to do and like me 
she likes getting things done.  Maybe our strong bond has something to do with that or the
fact that her middle and my eldest are only a year apart while her hubby is one of my oldest, 
best’est’, closest friends ever. Also she introduced my hubby and I. Set us up even. For months preceding our meeting she would tell me “there is someone you need to meet I think he is your soulmate” and she would tell him the same thing.  Both of us had newly healing hearts from 
failed relationships and would respond the same way ‘please, I am not interested’.  Funny enough 
it only took one meeting and we both had instant crushes, a year later we were married and 
now 4 years later we are happy and thriving.  I guess I should add matchmaker as a word 
to describe her.

<> Roz pictured here with her hubby <>

Rozalyn Galyean. An eclectic spirit who does things her own way. She is determined 
and overtly creative. A prime example of following your path steadfastly. No matter 
how rocky or bumpy, stay true to yourself and your passion with your eyes and heart 
open to the inspiration that surrounds you. Do not let the challenges discourage you. 
Let your dreams prevail. Keep creating!
You can visit her online at
She was mentioned before right here on SSS and she is 1/4 of boho mercantile.
From one southern belle to another,
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