Jill Zabel is a quirky little line of “handmade fancies with a vintage vibe”. Owner Kara Jill Young takes interesting pieces and reworks them into cool, funky pieces that really stand out and are anything but boring baubles. She also makes gift tags and handmade invitations, perfect for giving her pieces away as presents that everyone is sure to love.
Tell us a little about your shop and how you got started making jewelry.
Jillzabel is a much needed outlet for me. I am a restless soul and simply unable to sit idle for any amount of time. At a very young age I began creating any and everything that came to mind, from Barbie doll clothes to fancy mud pies. Over the years I’ve dabbled in everything fro mosaics, painting, quilting to cake-decorating, photography, etc… Due to my love of all things sparkly, it was only natural that I would eventually gravitate toward jewelry. I learned the basics from how-to books, websites, and one very helpful and talented friend.
You seem to use a lot of vintage and found items in your work. What comes first, the idea or the object?
Usually the object. I love to take a single crystal drop or old bead and design around it, with no clear direction in mind. The end result always surprises me! If I’m not pleased with how it turns out, I dismantle it and put it away for a while. A different day and mood will yield an entirely different result.
What inspires you when creating your jewelry and other items?
Everything! Vintage movies (oh, the glamour!), the places I visit, the people I see, the night sky, the changing of seasons, love, betrayal, the ocean, the color of my husband’s eyes (the purest blue I’ve ever seen), an old abandoned building with lovely potential, the fairy tales I read as a child, the taste of a cupcake (what would vanilla with sprinkles on top look like as a necklace?), a song on the radio, vampires, the mermaid I dreamed about last night, cemeteries (aren’t they beautiful?)…literally everything!
And there’s nothing wrong with cupcakes and mermaids! When you aren’t designing what are your other hobbies?
My favorite activity is simply spending time with my beautiful husband and sweet little dogs. I also like to cook when the mood strikes me, drink wine with friends, watch movies, and gossip on the phone. Unfortunately, I love shopping way more than I should. I even buy jewelry occasionally!
Define southern style.
I think southern style is as diverse as the women who live here; romantic, bohemian, elegant, dark, glamorous, casual, decadent…I could go on and on. There’s no way to define southern style in only a few words. Individuality is the only unifying element here.