Age Before Beauty

Age Before Beauty offers reconstructed one-of-a-kind vintage heirloom jewelry, currently featuring bigger, glitzier, show-stopping necklaces for the winter months and holiday season. These pieces are made by jewelry artist and illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt who recently granted us an interview.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I am from a very long line of collectors. Bower bird types who appreciate quirky, odd, old, interesting items with a history. I am a free-lance illustrator who had been searching for an outlet to fulfill my crafty side. When a good friend had on a fabulous necklace which she bought from an etsy artist I was hooked. I was excited to combine my love of quirky collectibles into things I could actually wear.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I just love making things. Creating---and the whole process of that. It starts with quiet and daydreaming, and turns into sketching or wire wrapping. Shopping for treasures is awfully wonderful, too!

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Structuring my day.
Wearing at least 5 different hats each day and never quite sure what I have on my head at any given moment (sometimes I think it's a gerbil, or a moose, or a chocolate pie, I really never know). I find it really hard to turn my back on the growing pile of laundry needing to be folded, and to make a necklace instead. Actually, that's not true... that's backwards, I find it very easy to turn my back on the laundry and make a necklace instead.
Therein lies the problem.
And that hat issue again.
It IS a gerbil on my head.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" actually hung on my jewelry 'hand' for a while before I could let it go. I really like it and think it's very wearable. On that same note, I have my very own elk necklace, or I would want "An Elegant Elk". There's something about those curly antlers that I find irresistible.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to illustrate greeting cards and children's books. I remember telling that to my classroom full of firefighters and doctors in the fourth grade. I have always loved to draw, and always known I was an artist.

What other shops out there do you love?
I really love etsy, cindyforrester, ohmymilky,mudstuffing, winonacookie, all different kinds of artists and mediums.... truly everything anyone could be looking for! There's so much creative thinking and fabulous artwork out there------ it's so hard to edit!

What does your future hold?
I will continue to work relentlessly to get my children's books published. In the meantime, I've been doing some wonderful freelance illustration work.

Annnnd, of course I hope that I always get to turn forgotten baubles into timeless jewels.

Visit Age Before Beauty now to see more fun jewelry or visit Jennifer's blog for a peek at the illustration work she's been doing.