Turns out, the Motor City is home to more than just fast cars and Motown music. Just last year, Joanne opened Global Brights, her Michigan-based Etsy boutique full of vintage-inspired and boho chic jewelry and accessories — everything from necklaces to bracelets to earrings to purses — at amazing prices! After some 35 years in the corporate world, Joanne struck out on her own to pursue her dreams, and she has no intention of looking back any time soon. Read on for more inspiration behind her shop and her tips for still looking chic on a budget! xoxo
Tell me a bit about your shop. What’s the inspiration behind its launch?
Being born in the Motor City, I had gasoline running through my veins, so automotive is where I worked for 35 plus years. It was time to reinvent myself so to speak. Having worked with beads, dabbed in metal-smithing, sewn some clothes and tried my hand at craft shows, why not leave the corporate world in pursuit of my dreams, I thought? I already had a new studio with a lake view built with enough supplies amassed through the years rivaling many specialty craft stores. At that point, it didn’t take any stretch of the imagination and one has to wonder, was I preparing for this change for the last 20 or so years? Wasn’t that my inspiration?
Really, my inspiration was staring me in the face. It just boiled down to doing full-time what I had been doing part-time. So, yes, I have retired from automotive, but not from life.
Global Brights was then launched last year and “I am living the dream.” Just as my logo says, “Your store to purchase accessories and jewelry both hand crafted and vintage for that finished look.” If you look at the picture below, you will see my eclectic personality peeking through.
What are some trends we’re seeing as we move into the summer? What are some of your favorite jewelry trends?
Gold tones are now finally in the front seat with silver. Boho chic is still on the scene — the clothing is a little more refined with a modern twist. So, ladies, bring out your old ’60s and ’70s jewelry. With that style is fringe and choker necklaces. Remember those velvet chokers? They’re back. Also, statement necklaces in bronze or brass with stones, long large pendant necklaces and those large chunky bracelets. Your modern, ethnic and vintage pieces are all present with layering of chain necklaces, natural woods and stones. Rhinestones are still big in marsala (sounds much more dramatic than red-brown), pink, purple, red and, always, a sprinkle of clear.
Being eclectic and loving big bold things, I don’t completely follow the trends. Just like me, I will bet you have some favorites. Those pieces are what gives your outfit your personality, not someone else’s. The beauty of a piece of jewelry or an eye-popping accessory is what finishes your outfit. Keep that black dress from a couple years ago and use it as your blank canvas. Just put a few special pieces with it and you have a totally new outfit. Bottom line is to have fun, be comfortable, wear it and own it. Then you’re on the fashion plate.
What are some things people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
Before shopping, survey your closet and jewelry chest. If it is not practical to wear the outfit, there is always the camera phone. Lay all the items on the bed, including shoes, outfit, purse, jewelry and click, click. Then away you go, shopping to the mall or online. Places like Etsy have many beautiful handmade items you won’t see in stores. Yes, I am partial to Etsy and my buying habits are partially responsible for keeping us out of a recession.
What are some ways that people can still look chic for less?
Never forget what you already own, like, I said, that black dress. Oh, do I get the mileage out of mine. Add a white jean jacket or leather crop jacket (I have a pink leather Harley Motorcycle Jacket). Remember, your imagination is your best friend. Think of the choker trend, a ribbon tied around the neck with a cool retro pin — if you don’t have one, use an old clip earring, a pendant or button.
Sometimes you can find a cool vintage, re-sale or antique store and there it is. That group of vintage neck chains, a long pendant necklace or a chunky bracelet. Then you find a vintage evening purse. Wow, each item less than $10 — a mini lottery! Again, use your imagination.
So now you only need one item and you have an idea! Keep that mind open and you might find something completely different. This is where I love to cruise the Internet. Explore! Expensive doesn’t mean stylish; it is how you put it together. You’ll know you have it when you look in the mirror. You go, girl, you are styling!
What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
Is this a trick question? Well, here is a sneaky answer. They are all my babies and my favorite is the current collection that I am creating. However, some have been real brainteasers when trying to figure out how to manufacture them. With that said, there is one piece that stands out. A blue necklace using vintage tarnished silver plate knife handles, Czech seed beads (which I love), and a lamp work bead I made on my torch. The necklace is in the center of this collage, above, and, naturally, I had to add others around to show my diversity.