HOUSTON—A jewelry design business is redefining statement jewelry and has quite the following.
Robin Garcia recently picked up jewelry she commissioned, not from precious stones, but from precious memories.
“They were from my childhood,” Garcia said, holding what was left of pretty Tiffany & Co. plates. “They were my grandmother’s dishes given to her by her mother-in-law. She had them in her bakery and they were always “don’t touch,” but they were given to me when she passed away.”
Garcia had her grandmother’s China repurposed as jewelry at China Baroque, a small family-owned jewelry business that’s seen explosive growth and sales.
Christie Gunter is co-owner, designer and artisan. She floats between the showroom and workroom. She has cut thousands of pieces from broken and chipped China before it is set in sterling silver. She takes pride in preserving her clients’ family history, while also offering them something stylish.
“Just as you would pass China down from one generation to another you can do this with this jewelry and it’s much smaller,” Gunter explained.
Not every piece is the result of a family heirloom. The ladies created most of the showroom jewelry from plates they found at antique stores and flea markets.
China Baroque makes everything from women’s jewelry, to cuff links and belt buckles. While the showroom is stocked with the owners’ designs, much of their business is personalized.
Marybeth Flaherty used her late mother’s China to make multiple pieces for her family, including her husband and sons. “Even the men in our family will have the opportunity to have a piece of her close to them,” Flaherty said.
The possibilities are endless.
Robin Garcia left with two pendants for her loved ones and a little something extra for herself. A Tiffany stamp from the back of one of her grandmother’s plates turned out to be the perfect pendant.