For Mary Glenn Draper, senior in communications, jewelry is something more than just an add-on to an outfit, and that belief is clear through the message of her business, MadeNew.
MadeNew is an independently run jewelry company where Draper takes antique, broken jewelry and combines it with her own pieces to make a variety of one-of-a-kind products. Draper’s idea for the business developed during her senior year of high school when her mother was going to throw out one of her grandmother’s old, broken bracelets.
“I just thought to myself, ‘There is something I can do with this; I don’t want this to be thrown away,’” Draper said.
Draper opened her jewelry box and quickly realized which chains and pieces would work well with the colors and style of her grandmother’s broken bracelet. It was then she realized her eye for taking old things and revamping them into something special and new, she said.
“Somebody sees this as trash, but I want to make this into something beautiful,” Draper said.
The idea behind that first bracelet, taking something old and broken and making it new, is what inspired the name and message behind her business. Now, Draper creates products from any antique gem she can get her hands on, always searching thrift stores and antique shops looking for pieces she knows will stand out, she said.
“I will go all over, whether that’s states, neighborhoods with yard sales and estate sales, thrift stores, antique shops, and I will hunt everywhere to try to find the best piece,” Draper said.
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She said she particularly loves pieces from the 1930s as several of her products lean more towards the look of costume jewelry, when and bright, bold accessories, such as cameos, hair clips and glittering broaches, were all the rage.
While many of the bracelets, watches and necklaces people will find at MadeNew are based around rare pieces Draper finds, her absolute favorite pieces to make are her special orders.
Her favorite orders, she said, come from those customers who want sentimental pieces, such as family heirlooms, revitalized.
“Those are my favorite orders because they mean something,” Draper said.
“What inspires me the most is that I can take something that is seen as worthless and disregarded as waste and turn it into something that people will want and that is seen as special,” she said.
Interested customers can look to the MadeNew business page on Facebook for a glimpse at Draper’s current and past products as well as all information regarding contacting her for special orders.
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