Made in the Deep South
November 21, 2014
Sue Ellen Wilson
By Buffy York
When Michela Swafford purchased a vintage brooch three years ago she had no idea that she would soon dive head first into the world of jewelry design. Michela decided to repurpose the antique piece as a necklace and thought she might be on to something when someone noticed the necklace and offered her twice what she paid for it. The light bulb went off and now she collects antiques jewelry from around the world dating back to the 1800’s, deconstructs each piece, reconfigures it using old and new elements and creates unique one of a kind baubles. Her company, Made in the Deep South, is the definition of “upcycling.”
The uniqueness and variation in style of each piece is dependant upon and representative of the era from which it came. Each Made piece comes with a “story card” that gives the history behind the original components of the new creation. The backstory of each piece gives it a sense of mystery and romance. Michela combined the 1970’s era necklace from an estate in Texas and a 1940’s brooch from Ohio to create the necklace I am wearing in the picture above.
Details like hand cut leather and hand stiching reveal the quality craftsmanship that is part of the Made in the Deep South mission, so it is no surprise that her brand is growing quickly. In Birmingham her line of unique jewelry can be found at Mia Moda in Vestavia, Elle in Crestline and Festivity in Homewood. Today and tomorrow Made in the Deep South is participating in the Junior League of Birmingham’s Market Noel. You can see Michela’s pieces in person at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center today, Friday, November 21st until 8 o’clock and tomorrow, Saturday, November 22 from 9 a.m to 5p.m.