Each with different styles and purposes, these local artists make beautiful pieces to accessorize any outfit.
Jewels by SarCar
Sara Caroline Bridgers’ favorite necklace broke on yearbook picture day of her junior year. She took the pendant and refashioned it with a suede cord. After a day full of compliments, inspiration struck. Bridgers started with twenty necklaces and a photo shoot with her friends on the square in Oxford. Those pieces sold out in six minutes, and Jewels by SarCar was born. A year later, Bridgers is juggling high school, extracurriculars, the social life of a teenager and a national brand with undeniable style.
“There will be days when I go to ACT tutoring and leave and go to a meeting with my financial advisor,” Bridgers says. “I’m having to do a lot of things that a lot of high-schoolers don’t have to do like using tax ID numbers and filing taxes. I’ve had a hard time with that, but I have learned a lot and it has been a great opportunity.”
Bridgers’ youthful, on-trend looks are worn in more than 43 states and are sold via her website and a handful of stores in Mississippi and beyond. Her mission is to give her customers a piece that is completely different than anything they’ve owned before—that can be dressed up or down and can be worn multiple ways. She credits her success to her ten ambassadors that wear her jewelry in markets across the country.
Jewels by SarCar pieces still echo that first necklace made from a cord and a stone. Popular items are chokers, cuffs, wrap necklaces and bracelets with druzies and crystals and whatever else Bridgers is into that season.
When Bridgers begins college next year at Ole Miss, she won’t be leaving Jewels by SarCar behind. She plans to study at the school of business and expand her entrepreneurial prowess.
“I’m excited to see how it translates into my college life,” she said. “I like watching it grow. It grows as I grow. The style changes as mine changes.”
Hope & Arrow
When Amy Ekis created Hope & Arrow, she was inspired by an experience that many women share: infertility and infant loss. Ekis and her husband had struggled to get pregnant, and when a friend faced the same challenge, she wanted to make her a gift.
“Through those years of infertility, it was so hard, but I had a word that got me through. It was ‘hope.’ I put it on everything,” Ekis said. “It became a mantra. I needed something to remind myself that that season would come to an end.”
That first necklace became a few, a few became an Etsy shop and now Hope & Arrow is a handmade brand that includes inspiring digital prints, chunky bangles and, of course, its signature stamped key necklace.
She originally opened her shop to offset expenses for the adoption of her son; now that he is home, she uses Hope & Arrow to help other adopting families raise money and provide women with a wearable reminder to keep the faith.
“One of my passions is encouraging women, but I also have a creative side,” Ekis said. “I wanted to fund our adoption, but I was also kind of stepping into my calling.”
Her key necklaces harness the power of significant words like strength, love, able, faithful and brave. The shop name Hope & Arrow, as well as many of the stamped words, are from biblical passages that Ekis finds helpful in trying times.
Ekis keeps keys with words already stamped on-hand, but she loves custom orders most of all. She has been able to create sentimental pieces that honor wedding dates, meaningful life seasons and deceased loved ones.
“It means so much to me that I can try to minister to someone in that way,” she said. “Sometimes, you just need something tangible around that can remind you.”
You can find Hope & Arrow on Etsy, at the Northstar Church bookstore and at Elizabeth Rose Market in Baldwyn.
Kim Gambrell Couture Jewelry
For more than fifteen years, Kim Gambrell has been handcrafting heirloom pieces. Her jewelry line, sold exclusively at Farmhouse in Tupelo, is equal parts antique charm and modern sophistication.
It began with improvisation. Gambrell had a vision of a piece she wanted for an outfit, but when she couldn’t find it, she made it herself.
“I think accessories can make or break an outfit,” Gambrell said. “I’ve been in love with jewelry since I was a little girl.”
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, you will find her working on orders where she dreamed of jewelry when she was that little girl—the playhouse behind her parents’ house. Gambrell splits her time between making inventory for Farmhouse and fulfilling custom orders.
Gambrell describes her style as “fashion forward,” featuring natural gemstones, hand-picked elements and reworked items like vintage rhinestones. She draws inspiration from high-end brands and then makes affordable pieces that are still distinctive.
“I try to find my own path and do my own thing,” Gambrell said. “I don’t stick with one genre. I try to offer something for everyone.”