0712 Amy ArmstrongAmy Armstrong with her designs at Greystone Antiques & Marketplace.
Amy Armstrong wasn’t looking for a business venture when she picked up a new hobby, but her creativity combined with an eye for a good find have turned into a thriving vintage jewelry line.
“I never intended to be so committed to it, and for it to be such a big thing in my life,” Armstrong said, “But it is such a great creative outlet. I’m in all the way.”
Her passion is evident as she sits at her kitchen table in Greystone surrounded by pieces that she designed in her basement studio.
Armstrong’s RueRue Originals are a vintage-inspired jewelry line designed for the modern woman. The one-of-a-kind pieces feature vintage chains and unique vintage elements such as pill boxes, brooches and chandelier crystals.
The idea for the line came when Armstrong and her close friends who refer to themselves as the “Ya Ya’s” began crafting together after a trip to a friend’s summer home in Michigan. On the way home, the group stopped by resale stores and estate sales and picked up pieces that piqued their creativity.
“We didn’t have any idea what we wanted to do, but we knew we needed to do something,” said Armstrong, whose husband, Bill, is an avid painter. “I’ve always been kind of a creative person, but I never was focused on one thing.”
But she found focus when she picked up a tool set and began reworking vintage jewelry.
“It was so intriguing to me to be able to make something,” she said.
At first, Armstrong just dabbled around and made pieces for herself or as gifts for friends. After rave reviews from friends and neighbors, she began to sell some of the creations.
“I had no idea that anyone would ever pay for anything that I make,” Armstrong said.
In addition to selling pieces at Greystone Antiques & Marketplace, Armstrong has since become a regular at craft shows, where her unique designs stand out from other crafters’, and she also sells at private events. One necklace featuring a 1960s solid perfume bottle was snatched up by a vintage fashion enthusiast.
“It’s so rewarding to create something that someone wants to have for themselves,” she said.
The retired Southern Company employee works in her basement studio for around 4 to 5 hours a day to prepare for shows and keep a varied stock of unique pieces.
“It’s a lot of work,” she said, “but it’s a lot of fun.”
You can pick up a RueRue Original for yourself at Greystone Antiques & Marketplace on Highway 280, or find them on Facebook.