"It's like being a kid in a candy store." That's exactly how one shopper described this jewelry trunk show at a Fort Lauderdale women's boutique. I agree! Just take a look at these beautiful bangles. How can you pick just one? Good thing they look amazing stacked so eight should be sufficient.
The bangles are handcrafted by Florida State Alum, Carley Ochs, who created a unique bracelet line called Bourbon and Boweties. Why Bourbon and Boweties? Carley says she loves the South, hence the bourbon and initially wanted to start making bow ties. Her love for bangles came after a visit to Shanghai and the purchase of some jade jewels. One night while sitting at home with her boyfriend enjoying a few drinks, Carley made her first bracelet using those stones and wire wrapped around of all things - a solo cup! That was in August of 2012 and the beginning of Bourbon and Boweties.
Three months later, you could find Carley's bangles in nearly two dozen stores. Now more than a year later, her unique line is carried by more than 60 stores including Etiquette Boutique which opened its second location at Union Planters Plaza in Fort Lauderdale just a few weeks earlier. It has quickly become my go-to place for fashionable pieces including sparkly headbands at great prices. Read about some of my fabulous finds here and here plus their grand opening here. Disclosure: Etiquette is located in one of the shopping centers the company I work for owns.
One weekend in December, Carley held a trunk show at Etiquette, which is where I met her in person and found out all about how she got her start in the jewelry business. I have always admired these bangles at the boutique but they were all too big for my child-sized wrists. With Carley on-site for the trunk show, she hand-made three beautiful bangles for me ranging in price from $29 to $44 (now up to $50 because of the larger stones) depending on the size of the stone. I'm wearing two of them below. Love how unique the blue stone looks with the neutral one.
Carley has been traveling along the East Coast holding trunk shows where she can make you and even your little princesses a custom piece as well. She will be at Rapunzel's Closet in Palm Beach on December 28, 2013 from 12 to 6 p.m and Lilly Pulitzer at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens on December 29, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On February 15, 2014 you can find Carley at Lilly Pulitzer at Town Center at Boca Raton from 2 to 7 p.m. On June 28, 2014 Carley will be back at Etiquette Boutique at Union Planters Plaza in Fort Lauderdale. You can shop the collection, enjoy light bites and a drink from the bourbon bar from 1 to 6 p.m. One dollar from every bangle sold will go to support the Miss ARC Broward Beauty Pageant.
To find out where to purchase in-store, go here. You can also buy online (with free shipping) from this great retailer I just discovered and immediately placed an order because who doesn't love free shipping? Two Cumberland displays all their in stock bangles in an album on Facebook here. You simply comment sold and message them your information to purchase. They also have these amazing travel cases for your bangles. It includes the bar on which your bracelets hang and the case. Just $26 and again, free shipping. Get them while they're still available here.
All the bracelets are made with hand-selected semi-precious stones, geodes, smoky quartz, lava stones, shells, turquoise, jade, polished coral, Peruvian opal, agates and other natural stones all wrapped with gold-plated wire, which Carley says will not tarnish but it will patina (much like your beloved Louis Vuitton). They can also be wrapped with silver wire upon request. In addition to stones, Carley includes coins in some of her designs. If you have certain coins you'd like her to incorporate into a bangle, all you have to do is ask. I'm looking to have a bracelet made with some coins from my parents' homeland, the Philippines. While the stones and coins in her collection come from around the world, Carley says they are all individually “made by PROUD Southern hands”.
How about you? Do you bangle? Which bracelet and stones are your favorite?