Tutu for you
As a former dancer, Atlanta’s Rebecca Shady was inspired to design a collection of luxe tutus that can work for day. Or night.
The company: Tutu Moi launched in 2014. The Atlanta-based company makes heirloom-quality, designer tulle skirts for women and children, including babies and tweens.
The designer/founder: Shady grew up near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from Mississippi State University. She held various finance positions in Atlanta before starting Tutu Moi.
The goods: Skirts made from soft satins and tulles (versus netting) that are made to order with a quality zipper closure for a tailored fit. Colors range from the company’s Signature Blush color to silver and gold.
What’s popular: The Signature tulle skirt ($84 with its classic, modified A-line style). Also the mother-daughter sets ($138 to $179).
Other favorites: Maxi tulle skirts ($122).
Claim to fame: Singer and actress Ariana Grande selected the Full Bell Midi skirt to wear in a scene on the Fox TV show “Scream Queens.”
Where to wear: Daytime outing (work and football game, too); evening cocktail party or night out. Also prom and weddings.
Florida-based Lema J Design creates chic, colorful cuffs for a cause.
The company: Lema J Design started in Orlando in 2013 and makes exotic hide cuffs and bracelets for men and women.
Founders: Sisters Jill Becker, who oversees the business side of the jewelry line, and Jennifer Benscher, the jewelry designer.
Inspiration: After Becker’s 21-year-old daughter died of leukemia, Benscher made her sister a cuff in Cara’s favorite color (orange), adorned with a protective eye. The cuff, later called the “Karma for Cara Cuff,” helped launch the company, which gives 100 percent of the profits of every sale to the nonprofit Karma for Cara Foundation.
Best-sellers: One-half-inch cuffs ($380) in black polished pearl stingray, navy metallic python and the cheetah. Also the Karma for Cara cuff ($335 to $535, depending on size). Whenever someone purchases the “Cara” cuff, the company donates a second cuff to a cancer patient or a family member.
Other favorites: The Strappy ($175), a bracelet that features layered stingray ribbons joined together with a stainless steel magnetic clasp. Also the brightly colored Bendy ($60 to $75), a bracelet that you can stack or wear solo.
What’s new: Crocodile cuff and the man band.
Where to buy: www.lemajdesign.com
In her felt work, North Carolina’s Lisa Klakulak takes a contemporary approach to a traditional craft.
The founder/designer: Born in Royal Oak, Mich., Klakulak earned a BFA in fiber from Colorado State University and is self-taught in felting. Before moving to Asheville, she lived in New Mexico and Tennessee. In 2004, she began selling her felted works and teaching under her company name: Strongfelt.
The goods: Accessories, ranging from handbags and jewelry to sculptural works that are wet-felted by hand, using fine wool fiber (not yarn), natural dyes and free-motion embroidery to detail and texture the surface of the felt.
What’s popular: Large, yet feather-light trampoline style earrings ($210); multiple cord neckpieces ($80 to $1,000) and handbags ($600 to $1,500).
Big breaks: A three-year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft (2002-2005); an invitation to instruct at schools, such as Penland School of Craft (N.C.); and featured articles in Fiber Arts Magazine, Surface Design Journal and American Craft.
Claim to fame: James Renwick Alliance Award of Excellence for Innovation in Craft at the American Craft Council Baltimore Show in 2015.
Where to buy: www.strongfelt.com. Also at North Carolina’s Penland Gallery in Penland and the Mora Contemporary Jewelry in Asheville. Klakulak will have a spotlight exhibit at Mora in January.
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