Thursday, September 21, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: L'Donna Jewelry


L'Donna Jewelry is the work of Susan Plunkett, born of her love for vintage jewels and all things sparkly. She began designing jewelry as a way to honor her mother by re-imagining her vintage costume jewelry as modern statement necklaces and earrings. It became clear that this was more than just a hobby when friends and family asked for their own family heirlooms to be transformed by Susan's creativity. Each gorgeous piece brings memories of the past, and we love this special way of keeping loved ones close.
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Susan Plunkett; I am a jewelry artist, as well as a wife and mother. I design jewelry because I have always been drawn to beauty and to anything that sparkles with life. Vintage jewelry pieces, semi-precious stones, pearls, and crystals inspire me. Each designed piece is unique and special.

How did you get started?

I have been designing most of my life. As a young girl, I played with my mother's 1950's costume jewelry. I designed doll clothes and embellished each outfit with jewelry. After many years in medical sales, I left my busy career to raise two daughters. Jewelry designing began as a hobby. Using my deceased mother's costume jewelry, I designed bracelets and earrings for my sisters. Soon it grew to designing for friends and other family members. The hobby became a business.

What do customers love most about your product?

Customers love custom work designed with their family heirlooms. They will bring to me "old family" pieces (usually sitting in a box somewhere). Together, we look at them and discuss what the client would wear style-wise in a new piece. We may pick out semi-precious stones or pearls, or they will leave it up to me. At times it can be challenging trying to use these treasures, or the piece may simply come together. It is a joy to bring the past forward; it feels like a full circle moment connecting family from the past to the present. There are no words that can fully describe the feeling when a client sees their new piece and they love it!

What was your first memory of making something?

The first piece of jewelry I made (besides macaroni necklaces in grade school) was a bracelet made from vintage beads. The beads were from a necklace of my mothers'. I added crystals to make an interesting design. My mother, Donna, passed in 1983 from breast cancer at the age of 55. In fact, the name of my company is from both my parents names. The "L' stands for my dad, Lyle. And of course, Donna was my mother's name. Every time I write the company name, L'donna Jewelry, I think of them.

How does the city you live in influence your work?

There is so much beauty here; the blue water, green vegetation, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, how can it not be a part of your art? I find that as I blend colors of stones and pearls that it usually mimics some part of nature. Also, as I travel to different parts of the country or abroad, I find beautiful vintage pieces that reflect that area. It is so much fun to bring a memory of an area alive in a piece of jewelry by adding semi-precious stones, pearls, and crystals to the vintage piece.

What do you love most about show vending?

One of my favorite things about my career and attending shows is meeting new clients. It is so interesting to show them my designs, tell them the story of the piece, and why I designed it the way I did. Most pieces have a name and often times the name will touch a chord with the client. The funny thing is I believe that the client and the jewelry piece find each other. And quite often, a new acquaintance will become a long time friend.
Check out more of Susan's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

Posted by Admin at 12:17 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS

CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
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