CORTLAND – People from all over the country are buying Cortland resident Lindy Giese's vintage-inspired custom jewelry.
One such person, Jenna Lovaas of Beloit, Wisconsin, owns an oval-shaped aquamarine stone engagement ring with a rose gold Celtic design. Lovaas is getting married in August in Thailand.
"I find myself staring at it every so often, especially when I'm outside out in the sun," Lovaas said. "It looks really beautiful."
Giese started her jewelry business in 2007 and called it PenelliBelle, naming it after her daughters Penelope and Lillie Belle. She launched her website, www.penellibelle.com, on May 1.
Giese took jewelry making in college but dropped out of school to get married. In 2005, as a stay-at-home mother, she made noodle necklace crafts with her daughters. She then began making jewelry with beads to wear out in public.
"I went to a doctor's appointment, and people wanted one," she said.
Giese then put her jewelry in craft shows. She made her first bridal piece in 2008 and posted it on Etsy, a website that allows people to sell handmade products. About four different woman wanted to buy it, so Giese sold it to the first person.
"It just kept building and building and building," Giese said.
She began making engagement rings in April 2013. She draws the products customers want then sends the blueprint to a casting company in Chicago, where the jewelry is molded.
All of the jewelry is made with 14-carat gold. Prices range from about $100 for necklaces to more than $1,000 for engagement rings.
Giese does a lot of her work from her dining room, which was converted into an office. She was recognized for her work when WeddingWire, a wedding planning website, gave PenelliBelle a Couple's Choice Award in 2014.
Giese, who got her engagement ring from a jewelry store, wants her customers to know she can create anything they want.
"We can literally do almost anything now in the form of a ring," she said. "You have to love it. We want all our customers to feel that it's the perfect piece for them."
Giese also created the wedding band for Lovaas, which has a twisted rose in white gold and is featured on Giese's Etsy profile.
Lovaas said her engagement ring is unlike anything she has ever seen in any jewelrly store.
"It meant a lot to both of us to have something unique and [something] we were both happy with," Lovaas said.