Elaine B founder Elaine Butcher tells SEEN why she loves making jewelry for the special moments in people’s lives. Check out the shop on the SEEN Marketplace.
By Rachel Schostak
Photos courtesy Elaine B
1. What inspired you to get into this business? I have always been a maker, crafter, experiment enthusiast and lover of beautiful objects and space. Jewelry is a very happy product. It is generally given in special moments in life: birthdays, weddings, during holidays and travel. I love making things that people use, that are tactile and precious.
I first began silversmithing in Charlottesville, Virginia. After attending Virginia Commonwealth University for glass and metal studies, I apprenticed with accomplished goldsmith Gabriel Ofiesh before starting my own jewelry design business. I relocated to Detroit in the spring of 2017 and quickly found my creative community and new team to foster a connection to craft in the city. In the fall of 2018 I opened my first jewelry store.
2. What does a typical day look like for you? Since the end of the holidays I’ve been taking it a little easier. I wake up, eat breakfast, post on Instagram and listen to NPR. Then I walk the six blocks to work around 9:30 a.m. Once there, I get on the computer and print out any shipping labels for orders going out that day. For the next few hours I jump between making jewelry, answering emails, taking photos, talking to customers and getting distracted. Around 3 p.m. we pack anything to ship that day. As the day gets dark I try to work on custom pieces or something a little more fun or involved before closing up shop at 6 p.m. and walking home.
4. What do you love most about your role managing the store? I love space, color, furniture and design of all sorts. The shop has been an exciting canvas to get to organize and experiment with all of these things. I also love meeting new people. We have welcomed so many neighbors, friends and destination shoppers into our showroom. I especially love hearing how people wear their jewelry.
5. What is the mission of your store, and how do you want customers to feel when they enter your space? Our mission is to create beautiful, handmade jewelry while supporting talented makers, our community and the environment. I want people to feel inspired, calm and creative when they come in.
6. What are your current favorite items in the store? We are primarily a jewelry store, but I have some great products from local makers. My favorites are one-of-a-kind watercolor paintings by Espacia Fotiu, beautifully made furniture by Hunt & Noyer and everyday ceramics by Corbé.
7. Tell us what makes the in-store experience special? What sets us apart is that we are making the product right there; two-thirds of the shop is our studio. We use mostly recycled metals and traditional metalsmithing tools. And my employees are also the makers, so they are very knowledgeable and we can customize almost anything.
8. Are there any new products that you will soon carry that excite you? Oh so many things! For Valentine’s Day we will carry beautifully handmade paper flowers and a line of 14-karat rose gold jewelry featuring hearts and stones. This spring we will build a larger selection of everyday basics made of recycled 14-karat gold — things like hoop earrings, stacking rings and dainty necklaces. There aren’t enough hours in the day.
9. In regard to your personal style, do you have a signature look or accessory? I keep things pretty simple. I always wear a watch and my wedding ring. I like big earrings and small necklaces.
10. A few items in your closet that you can’t live without? I love being comfortable. Everything cotton and in shades of gray and blue. Layers all day.
11.What are your favorite 2018-2019 style trends? Modern and minimal designs with pearls. And the addition of peachy coral tones.
12. Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog or podcast? I just love the TED Radio Hour.
13. Favorite quote or words to live by? If you do it now, later it will be done.
14. When not working, where are few local places you like to hang out? I love Belle Isle, the Dequindre Cut and everything Eastern Market. I also enjoy swinging by the Rust Belt Market, eating and playing games at The Corner and generally chilling out in Ferndale.
Shop our favorite Elaine B jewelry on the SEEN Marketplace:
SHOP: Mountain side provincial ring, $1,100.
SHOP: Rose gold heart necklace, $280.
SHOP: Concentric hoop earrings, $88.
Stop by Elaine B at the location listed below. Follow @elainebjewelry on Instagram for in-store events and new products!
Elaine B Jewelry
22961 Woodward Ave., Ferndale