November 28th, 2014

Shop Local Profile: Mallory Shelter Jewelry

You buy your veggies from a Virginia farmer at your local market, and you’ll only drink DC Brau beer due to hometown pride (oh, and it’s good!). So why aren’t you gift-shopping the same way? That’s the charm behind DC Style Factory’s new holiday gift-shopping service — we (well, me!) canvas local boutiques and source only-in-the-DMV goodies, often times created by local designers. We’ll work within your budget, saving you trips to the mall and money spent on, well, lame presents. (No, your Dad doesn’t want a tie again this year.)

Over the next couple of weeks, we will profile a quartet of DC and Baltimore designers, hitting them up for some of their holiday shopping secrets.

Local Hero #1: Mallory Shelter of Mallory Shelter Jewelry , and Saturday, Nov. 29 (tomorrow!) via a trunk show at Logan Circle’s Salt & Sundry. Shelter meshes earthy materials — rough-edged blue agate, dagger-like chunks of chalcedony — with delicate fittings (gold-filled chains, thin, twisted wire). The resulting baubles are both boho and beautiful.

How’d you get started?

I had been making jewelry on and off as a hobby since I was in high school, but never considered selling it. When I moved to D.C. after college, I began taking ametal-smithing class and was exploring other types of designs, and I kept getting stopped asking where I got my jewelry. I put up a few of my products on Etsy, and things took off way faster than I expected.

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

Two gifts stand out, and both are jewelry (no surprise there!) One is an opal ring that my mom got me during her travels to Brazil — I wear it almost every day. The other is a diamond necklace from my grandmother.She took apart her wedding band and made each of the diamonds into necklaces for my family members. It was so special.

What’s a mistake people make when buying gifts?

Waiting until the last minute, and then buying something just for the sake of buying. I think a lot of people also buy something when they see a deal, rather than prioritizing quality.

What do you want this year for the holidays?

A Fig & Bella Scarf, this Matine Clutch , initial earrings from Maya Brenner, a leather tote  and a Shinola Watch.

Where do you shop for gifts?

I try to shop exclusively from local boutiques and artisans for my gifts. I rely on customers around the holiday season, so I try to give that back to other artists! Salt & Sundry is typically my go-to in the area for unique and thoughtful gifts.


Post by DC Style Factory stylist, Jenn Barger. Jenn has 13 years’ experience working as a fashion  journalist in the nation’s capitol. She has written countless gift guides for The Washington Post and this season is working with DC Style Factory clients to find the best and the brightest gifts this holiday season. Email [email protected] to work with Jenn.

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