Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Jewel Couturist Render New Ventures
By Marcus Ma’at Atkins

Jewelry maker Mary Collins is setting up to make more than beautiful trinkets these days. The Dallas, Tx. born and East St. Louis raised “charm stylist” is preparing for the Grand Opening of her new Vauje Vintage Store this Saturday, June 16 inside Union Station in downtown St Louis.

OUTTOWN had a chance to interview Collins about her beginnings in jewelry making and other tidbits on her road to bigger success.

Jewelry maker Mary Collins displays some of her vintage jewels at J Marie's website Launch party at Lavish last November

OT:.How long have you been designing jewelry?
MC:I've been designing for the past 4 years now.

OT:What inspires you to design jewelry?
MC:Sometimes a color I see, clothing or fabric, and fashion photography. Actually anything can inspire me it's all about how open your mind when you look at something.

Her logo.

OT:Do you remember your first piece of created jewelry? If so, when did you create it, what was it and did you sell it?

MC:Actually my first pieces (necklaces) were for myself. I loved the retro style and I couldn't find accessories to compliment my look. I decided to make my own. People kept asking me would I consider selling my pieces I said no. More and more people started to ask so I decided to make it my business.

OT:.Did you go to school to make jewelry or self taught?
MC:I'm 100 percent self taught.

A lucite purse with Vintage Vauje jewels.

OT:.How long does it take to make a piece of jewelry?
MC:It depends on the item. I can put 20 minutes or 4 hours into a piece.
OT:Your company name Vauje, what does that mean?
MC:I actually thought I made it up because I took part of it from the name of a man I worked with. His name was Travaughn. I took the Vaug but I didn't like how it looked so I replaced the g with a j and added an e on the end. I looked it up and I found out it was French it means next in line; successive.

OT:.How long have you been selling jewelry under Vauje?
MC:For the past 4 years

OT:What's your specialty as far as making jewelry?
MC:My specialty  RETROOOO :D but I'm trying to get out of that retro box

A black and pearl bauble necklace and earrings.

OT:What have been some of the events you have vended for?
MC: Oh gosh it's been so many just to name a few J Marie events, STL Fashion week, Grovefest

Collins setting up for She Is Queen event at Copia last December.

OT:. Have you created jewelry for any celebrities?

MC: I wish :) but I'm sure it's coming in the future I have faith.

A promotional flier for her Grand Opening

OT:You have a Grand Opening, talk a little about that and what people should expect when they attend?

MC:Yes my grand opening is Saturday June 16th from 3-7pm. There will be prizes awarded and refreshments. I will have new items that have not been for sale at any events. J Marie by Joni Marie Ross will have her entire line there along with her new ready to wear items. We worked hard on the decor and theme so I think people will be very pleased with all the effort put forth.

A promotional flier.

OT:What are your hobbies besides creating jewelry?
MC:Hmmm hobbies I love doing graphic work, I love crafts period, I play my flute when I can I'm a little rusty :)

OT:What is your long term goals with your jewelry business?
MC:I want to open a second location, get published in a well known magazine(s), make my brand known in the major cities and a few other countries. I have big plans my grand opening is just the beginning.

 For more info about Vintage Vauje and her jewelry line go to

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