Mary Burger began to think about starting a jewelry business when her friends wanted to buy the baubles that she made off right off her neck.
“I found that the more I love a piece, the more other people love it too,” said Burger, who lives in Prarie Village and makes jewelry under the label JetCouture Jewels (formerly JetLag Jewels), which are sold at Webster House, Clique in Prairie Village and Churchill in Fairway. Burger plans to expand and showcase her designs at several markets this summer.
Her pieces are inspired by traveling, along with serene rides and time in the barn with horses Max and Archie.
“My designs are definitely a reflection of cultural influences and my journeys while traveling,” she said. “I like to incorporate a lot of bold stones and pearls and probably the most distinctive character is my use of vintage and unusual findings that I repurpose into clasps and pendants.”
Burger is constantly on the hunt for gems, pearls and vintage artifacts to weave into her designs. She takes note of interesting color combinations in flowers, on fashion runways and in artwork. Her favorite colors are the ones that suit her, and her aesthetic takes a nod from bygone eras, such as the Forties and Fifties.
“I love yellow, but it doesn’t always look good on everyone, and green makes my skin look green,” Burger said. “Simple and classic styles always make a statement, though.”
Her favorite piece of jewelry is made from vintage turquoise beads and a large black stone. Pearls are popular said Burger, who often wears the dainty gems with something tough, such as a motorcycle jacket, for a trendy juxtaposition.
“Not everyone wants to wear a big necklace,” said Burger, who also makes stack bracelets from leftover gems and stones. “But an outfit isn’t complete without accessories.”