DePaul alum pursues creativity through jewelry line
For Julie Harris, 29, it is all about adornment. "I remember discovering my love for jewelry at a young age and I have my grandmother to thank for that," says Harris. "In fact, one of my fondest childhood memories was going to my grandmother's house and siting through her endless antique jewelry chest filled with estate and sidewalk sale pieces."
These early memories cemented a deep seeded affection for all things accessory within Harris, which continued to expand as she grew up. Frustrated with the search for perfect gold pieces in the Chicago jewelry scene, Harris (an undergrad Psychology major and Double Demon with a graduate degree in Education and Masters completed in June 2011) took matters into her own hands.
"I went to local bead shops and found beautiful stones, chains, wire and materials to make my own jewelry since I couldn't find any gold accessories I really adored," she says. "I felt the need to personalize my own pieces. So, the bead shop sales woman showed me how to do a quick wire wrap with a few flicks of the wrist, and voila, my jewelry career had begun."
Through trial and error, and an accompanying bead bracelet-making class, Harris honed her craft. She now fashions everything from earrings, necklaces and bracelets to rings and anklets inspired by nature and classic designs. She sells her creations through her e-retail business, Jewels by Jules. While Harris is completing the final stages of a Jewels by Jules website, she currently takes custom orders via email at email@example.com and assures she has something for everyone. "I construct a variety of jewelry pieces which cater to my clients' needs, whether they are looking for an everyday piece or jewels for an upscale event," she adds.
Although she did not take art related courses at DePaul, Harris credits the university with helping her pursue a passion and tapping her inner leader. "I graduated from the Student Leadership Institute at DePaul, which was a phenomenal program that prepared me to start my business," she says. "I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit that was waiting to reveal itself through artistic expression. DePaul has been so supportive in bringing my passions to the forefront and that is what I love about the school."
With so much on her plate, Harris is planning for the future albeit carefully doing so. "I look forward to showcasing a website that targets a large audience. In ten years, I ultimately see myself with a large online presence in the jewelry world and I would like to have my collections displayed in department stores or upscale boutiques," she says.
Her lofty goals combined with a love for her art makes Harris' business a true gem. "I genuinely take the time to design custom-made, sophisticated and bright pieces upon request," she says. The most important aspect of the line? "Jewels by Jules costume designs are created to ultimately accessorize and accentuate your personality!"
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