Shopping: Magic in the Details

Dora Mae Jewelry breathes new life into vintage styles.

  1. Mysteries and Miracles abalone pendant necklace, $149
  2. Hung from the Stars necklace, $149
  3. Festival’s Fancy turquoise star necklace, $99
  4. Along the Shores beaded necklace, $189
  5. Hyde and Seek necklace, $289
  6. Metallic cuff with rhinestones, $189
  7. Cuff with rhinestone flower, $229
  8. Living in a Dream fringe earrings, $129
  9. Coming to Life leopard earrings, $189
  10. Everything You Ever Hoped Was True leather cuff, $189
  11. Star Struck rhinestone bracelet, $149

Dora Mae Jewelry, located in Ivanhoe Village, is a quaint, cozy boutique where accessory aficionados can find one-of-a-kind styles that are much more than simply a pretty piece of jewelry.

When owner Ansley Schrimsher (pictured) inherited her grandmother Dora Mae’s jewelry that had been collected over 50 years, she decided to use her background in design to reinvent the vintage pieces with a modern touch.

“I saw the beauty in the old pieces, but also saw the potential for new life,” Schrimsher says. “Each vintage piece told a story and kept its sentimental value without sacrificing style.”

It didn’t take long before Schrimsher was receiving requests to add her touch to other people’s heirloom jewelry. In 2008, she officially launched her business—and three years ago, she opened the shop in Ivanhoe Village. Today, Schrimsher relies on her eye for design and the relationships she has developed with antique dealers to turn each item into a unique piece of jewelry.

The Magic Mae line combines delicate14k gold circa late 1800s with opals, turquoise, emeralds and garnets. Some Art Deco-style items are accented with rhinestones from the 1940s, while other pieces have a mid-century modern feel. Beaded chains with accents of rose quartz, jade and amazonite are hand-crafted by artisans in Madagascar.

“Each new design is a creative problem-solving adventure,” Schrimsher says.

And while each piece is different, they all have a sense of playfulness and whimsy—and a distinctive name, courtesy of Dora Mae’s personal library of poems.

“We have a book of all of her poetry that she published before she passed away,” Schrimsher says. “Now we take phrases from her poetry book and her personal collection and use them as names for our pieces.” 

Categories: Fashion & Shopping