Way before Macklemore & Ryan Lewis advocated rocking your Grandma's coat, 45-year-old Missippi transplant Vicki Bennett has been turning old-timey bits and baubles into jewelry for the fashion-forward set. It all started back in high school, when she and her best friend came across a trove of antique clothing and jewelry in the attic of a family named Bunker and started forming an aesthetic for the one-of-a-kind pieces that are now sold exclusively at local shops Sugar Shack Boutique and Krazy Mary's Boutique.
Bennett's pieces are whimsical and playful. Among my favorites is a necklace made out of a pewter decanter label that reads “vodka.”
But for those who don't wish to advertise their drink of preference, necklaces and bracelets more often feature repurposed brooches depicting flora and fauna.
Bennett scours estate sales, garage sales and the closets of friends and family in order to find the right materials. “I am always looking for impractical, weird items to make something unusual,” she says.
And Bennett doesn't limit her crafty prowess to just jewelry, either; her Facebook page welcomes inquiries for custom wall murals, canvas art and window displays.
“Basically,” she says, “I can do anything within reason. If it's not within reason, I may consider it anyway.”
Prices for her jewelry typically range from $18-$75. Sugar Shack Boutique, 2425 J Street; (916) 447-4435; and Krazy Mary's Boutique, 3230 Folsom Boulevard; (916) 442-6279 ; www.facebook.com/bunkersattic.