Summer Inspiration in Charleston

There's no place like Charleston in the summer. Sure it's hot, but it's also blue and sunny and beautiful. I'm always inspired to make my colors bolder this time of year. Here are some of my favorite inspirations this summer:

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Unique Special Occasion Jewelry

It's Spoleto season in Charleston - that means black tie parties in historic homes and garden fetes under the live oaks. Pearls and diamonds are okay, but a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry by a local artist really lends some party cred - not to mention being a good conversation starter. If you're wondering how to jazz up your LBD for a party, or if you're getting married and you want to make a statement with your dress, come see me at Art Mecca, shop online or swing by the market in Marion Square on a Saturday morning. We'll get you fixed up.

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Best Jewelry Gifts for Mother's Day, Charleston Style

Moms love getting jewelry for Mother's Day, especially handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry. They love it because you picked it out and because it brings back a happy memory every time they put it on. If you're wondering how you can show your mom some love this Mother's Day, I'm about to make it easy for you. Here are some no-fail picks:

These earrings are lightweight and simple, and everyone loves to wear blue.

These earrings are lightweight and simple, and everyone loves to wear blue.

Elegant and just a little bit dainty...

Elegant and just a little bit dainty...

Neutral tones go with everything, and the metal and silk are tough and soft at the same time. Just like mom.

Neutral tones go with everything, and the metal and silk are tough and soft at the same time. Just like mom.

This bracelet goes with absolutely everything from jeans to dresses.

This bracelet goes with absolutely everything from jeans to dresses.

And now, a secret: Choose a bold design. People will ask your mom where she got it,  she'll say you bought it for her, then they'll compliment her on what a great kid she raised. She feels proud, you feel proud. Everybody wins.

And now, a secret: Choose a bold design. People will ask your mom where she got it,  she'll say you bought it for her, then they'll compliment her on what a great kid she raised. She feels proud, you feel proud. Everybody wins.

Happy Mother's Day, moms.

Choosing a Signature Piece of Jewelry

Some women manage to look put together no matter what they're wearing. They sort of exude grace and style. I've noticed that, along with kindness and confidence, a signature piece of jewelry adds something special to every outfit - even if it's just jeans and a t-shirt.

A signature piece of jewelry should be something you can wear every day, with every outfit. It should be lightweight, neutral - or at least your favorite color - and interesting without taking center stage. Necklaces and bracelets are perfect because you can layer them with bolder accessories when you want to. Here are some of my favorites:

Spring Inspiration from a Walk Around Charleston

Every season is so different in Charleston! I am especially inspired by our window box culture in the Spring and Summer. To me window boxes are like a gift complete strangers put out for others to enjoy with nothing expected in return. How very Charleston. There are three ingredients to a Holy City window box, "fillers, spillers and thrillers". Here are some of my favorites:

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Unique Jewelry for Sundresses

It is sundress season in Charleston and we're fairly giddy about it. One of the best things about sundresses is you can dress them up or down just by changing shoes and accessories. Here are some of my favorite pieces that go wonderfully with a Charleston girl's favorite summertime outfit:

I love these big colorful whimsical flowers they are perfect  to dress up solid-color maxi dresses, especially if the dress has a scooped neck. 

I love these big colorful whimsical flowers they are perfect  to dress up solid-color maxi dresses, especially if the dress has a scooped neck. 

This is a nice piece for patterned sundresses. The chain is light, both in weight and visually, which is lovely on a hot Charleston day.

This is a nice piece for patterned sundresses. The chain is light, both in weight and visually, which is lovely on a hot Charleston day.

This dramatic pendent piece works well with either solids or patterns. Wear this with a dress in the same blue / green family - or go wild and wear it with pink, red or orange. Wear it with black and you won't be able to get down the sidewalk without people telling you they love your necklace.

This dramatic pendent piece works well with either solids or patterns. Wear this with a dress in the same blue / green family - or go wild and wear it with pink, red or orange. Wear it with black and you won't be able to get down the sidewalk without people telling you they love your necklace.

I love this necklace with a fitted shirt or blouse and a billowy skirt.

I love this necklace with a fitted shirt or blouse and a billowy skirt.

Sundresses can take big jewelry and lots of bright colors. These earrings are the right mix of both.

Sundresses can take big jewelry and lots of bright colors. These earrings are the right mix of both.

The angles in these earrings add interest to a loose, comfortable dress. Plus, the colors are cool on a hot day.

The angles in these earrings add interest to a loose, comfortable dress. Plus, the colors are cool on a hot day.

Shop Just Kenzie Jewelry @ Charleston Farmers Market

The Charleston Farmers Market is back in Marion Square as of this Saturday, April 9th. I'll be there with all new bracelets, earrings and necklaces so you can refresh your summer wardrobe. I also have mirrors so you can try on your favorites. Believe me, jewelry looks completely different on and I love it when people relax, browse and play dress up at my booth. You may be surprised at what becomes your new favorite piece!

The weather is going to be beautiful and I can't wait to see everyone again- stop by and say hello. Charleston Farmers Market / Marion Square / 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November.

The Art Mecca of Charleston

Three years ago I was in a small studio space on the old naval base next to my friend Kelly Wenner Grossman, and day we had an idea: Open a progressive art gallery that would allow us to highlight local emerging artists, have live art demonstrations and events, and have studio space of our own. While Charleston has plenty of art galleries, (the more the merrier!), we felt like there was a place for something different. The Art Mecca was born.

A Friday night art opening at The Art Mecca

A Friday night art opening at The Art Mecca

The gallery is where Kelly and I have our own studios, and on any given day you'll probably find one of us talking to people about art, or back in our studios making art. The Art Mecca is so much more than our dream. It's our home-away-from-home, it's where some of Charleston's most innovative rising artists congregate, and it's where locals and traveler's alike are finding that special piece to give their homes a real sense of place.

There's a special energy here. Come visit us and say Hey.

Charleston Fashion Week

Getting excited for Charleston Fashion Week (March 15 - 19)! Looking forward to seeing work by Emerging Designers such as JD Noble. Check out the gorgeous flowers in this ensemble:

And here are some great pieces from the "Creatures of the Wind" collection by Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters:

There are more than 40 runway shows happening, including a bridal show, a model competition, and forums with designers. If you've been before - you know that something cool, spontaneous, and unforgettable always happens during Fashion Week. It all happens in Marion Square - right down the block from Art Mecca. Go to the show, get inspired and come see me!

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Charleston Design Inspiration

One of the best things about living in Charleston is that inspiration is everywhere! Just wandering around downtown on a pretty day can keep me going artistically for weeks. Here are some of my favorite pictures from a recent walk:

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The city is coming alive for Charleston Wine + Food - if you're in town and hanging out at Marion Square, you're just across the street from the Art Mecca - come say hey!

New Year: Clean Studio

Charleston is fairly quiet in January, but it doesn't last long. Today is the first warm day we've had in a couple of weeks and visitors are happily wandering Upper King outside of The Art Mecca, enjoying the sunshine. If you're in Charleston this year, stop by and say hello. I'm at the Farmer's Market in Marion Square every Saturday until 2:00 p.m., orcome by The Art Mecca and see my studio while it's still clean!