Monthly Archives: November 2014

Meet the Heirloom Finds Crew!


Members of the Heirloom Finds team enjoy lunch together every day.

You don’t see their faces on our site, but Heirloom Finds is about people just as much as it is about jewelry. Our team makes it possible for us to offer you the outstanding selection of vintage and fashion jewelry we’re so proud of.

Jeanne Peters, Vice-President and Co-Founder

Jeanne’s background is in fine jewelry; she has a Graduate Gemology degree from the Gemological Institute of America in New York. Jeanne knows her diamonds and precious metals, but she loves sparkly crystals and rhinestones too! Her interest in jewelry crystallized when Jeanne was 18 years old and first began dealing in vintage jewelry. It’s in her blood; both of Jeanne’s parents were antique dealers.

To Jeanne, fashion jewelry is about accessibility. “There’s a great jewelry look out there for every woman, and at Heirloom Finds we want to offer fashionable jewelry that everyone can afford to enjoy for themselves, and to give to others,” she says. Jeanne sees jewelry as an “everyday luxury,” and fashion jewelry as an inexpensive way to branch out into new and different styles—a small indulgence to help women feel great about themselves.

Kim Williams, President and Co-Founder

You wouldn’t expect the person overseeing the back end of a jewelry company to be a chef, but heading up restaurant kitchens made up the first part of Kim’s career. In fact, she often cooks lunches at home to share with the crew when they all sit together to eat at work. Kim graduated from cooking school in Baltimore, and worked for years in kitchens in Atlanta, where she developed a deep love of southern food and soul food.

Kim and Jeanne moved Heirloom Finds into their current building, a former movie theater in a small West Virginia town, in 2013.  “We had so much empty space,” Kim says, “and now we’ve filled it all up.” It’s not just shelves and shelves of jewelry lining the walls, either. They’ve grown from a staff of five to a total of 11 employees in less than two years.

Fran 2

Fran Williams oversees packing and shipping in our jewelry warehouse.

Fran Williams, Order Fulfillment Specialist

Fran, a retired nurse who also happens to be Kim’s mom, is happiest when she’s busy. Fran oversees packing and order fulfillment. “We’re truly a team here,” says Fran. “We all feel like we’re family.”  Fran was recently spotted wiping out the break room fridge, a shared responsibility (it should be noted that this may be one of the cleanest break room fridges in America). Fran notes that when she began working at Heirloom Finds, she wore mostly subtle, small jewelry. “I’ve become much more adventurous,” she says. “Now I’m not afraid to wear anything. I center some of my outfits around the jewelry.”


Roy Sees is hard at work assembling charm bracelets.

Roy Sees, Receiving Specialist 

Roy’s the lead merchandise receiver, resident handyman and jewelry finisher (as well as Kim’s uncle). He makes some of the chain bracelets for (our sister site) and also assembles a number of the finished charm bracelets. A retired sheet metal worker, Roy has worked with Heirloom Finds since before they moved into their current home. He notes that the days go by quickly because “we’ve got a good crew.” Roy’s done nearly every hands-on task at Heirloom Finds, and he takes pride in doing efficient, quality work.

Tom Williams, Shipping Associate

Kim’s dad Tom deploys his dry sense of humor throughout the day, keeping everyone on their toes with his wit. He helps with packing and checks orders for accuracy. Retired from the corporate credit department of Lowe’s, he enjoys the camaraderie of the Heirloom Finds staff and is happy to see the success of the business Kim and Jeanne built together. Like his wife Fran, Tom’s been helping out with Heirloom Finds since the early days.

Melanie Final

Melanie Lamb handles social media marketing, lifestyle photography and several other tasks for our website.

Melanie Lamb, Senior Marketing Associate

Though you may recognize her modeling jewelry in photos from our website, Melanie Lamb is more often on the other side of the camera, taking product and lifestyle photos. She started out at Heirloom Finds as an intern writing web listings. Melanie’s the one who comes up with the catchy names for Heirloom Finds products. A lifelong resident of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Melanie often recruits friends and family to be in Heirloom Finds photo shoots. How much jewelry does she have? “A lot,” she says.


Joe Ryckebosch manages Heirloom Finds’ inventory and does product photography.

Joe Ryckebosch, Data Specialist

A California native, Joe is a drummer, artist and skateboarder whose experience with databases and document production helps him manage Heirloom Finds’ inventory. He’s recently begun doing product photography, too, and most often photographs the vintage pieces.  Joe’s the resident goofball, and he keeps everyone’s spirits up with his frequent, good-natured shenanigans. On his breaks, Joe often visits nearby thrift shops looking for old paintings he can upcycle in his own artwork (Kim has one of his pieces hanging in her office).


Both Brenda and Nancy carefully package each order from our website.

Brenda Pyles and Nancy Pifer, Order Fulfillment Associates

Brenda and Nancy package most of the jewelry orders that go out from Heirloom Finds. They are the last ones to lay hands on your jewelry before it gets to you, so they make sure to inspect every item, make sure it’s in perfect condition, and matches the order exactly. They take pride in working with care and accuracy, and they enjoy getting a close look at the new jewelry as it arrives in the warehouse.

Sarah Clark Final

Sarah Clark enjoys researching our selection of vintage jewelry.

Sarah Clark, Copywriter

Sarah was raised in—no kidding—Sarahsville, Ohio, and moved back to the area after graduating from college in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she studied anthropology and art history. That background is helpful to her as she writes descriptions for Heirloom Finds’ vintage jewelry offerings. Sarah’s been with Heirloom Finds since August 2014, and she enjoys being able to research jewelry and share its story with customers.

Sarah Cline 1

Sarah Cline takes pride in providing excellent customer service, among several other responsibilities.

Sarah Cline, Operations Associate

Sarah joined Heirloom Finds in June 2014. She handles customer service, orders supplies, assists with inventory management and helps pack shipments. She also takes phone orders and will personally call a customer if an order needs clarification. “We’re close-knit here,” she says. “You couldn’t ask for better people.”

by Sara Bir


Make a Sparkling DIY Jewelry Christmas Tree

Heirloom Finds DIY Vintage Jewelry Christmas Tree

Make the holidays even brighter by crafting your own decor using vintage jewelry.

We know we’re not the only ones who stockpile sparkly bits of broken jewelry. Heirloom Finds co-founders Kim and Jeanne are always bringing home boxes of assorted vintage treasures from auctions and estate sales, and inevitably they contain some mismatched earrings or loose baubles. We gathered all of those shiny pieces together to make a glorious, glitzy Christmas tree centerpiece.


We sorted our vintage jewelry craft supplies by color.


  • Foam cones
  • Stainless steel scouring pads, such as Scotch Brite
  • Hot glue gun and plenty of extra hot glue sticks
  • Assorted pins: straight, pearl-headed, and U-shaped
  • Glass, pearl, and metallic beads in assorted sizes
  • Jewelry wire cutters
  • Needled-nosed pliers (not required, but helpful)

Besides an assortment of vintage jewelry, this project only requires basic craft supplies.

Get a foam cone form. The one we’re using here is 12” high, but a 9” or smaller cone is more realistic for a modest collection of jewelry odds and ends.


We found it was easier to unroll the scouring pads before trying to stretch them over the foam cone.


We needed a total of three unrolled scouring pads to cover our 12″ foam cone.

Unroll the Scotch Brite (we’re actually using off-brand scouring pads from the dollar store) and slide it onto the tree. Although they may not look too impressive at first, the scouring pads create a glittery background for the pinned jewelry and will add fullness to the finished product.


Be sure to pick out your tree topper first and set it aside for later.


We’re starting to add beautiful baubles to the tree with pins and hot glue.

Select a piece to top your tree and set it aside. Now start pinning and gluing the jewelry on. It’s best to get the larger statement pieces on and work from there, adding smaller bits as you go.


Chains, pearl strands and tinier baubles are great for filling in the smaller spaces.

Fill in any empty spots with beads, pearl strand and pieces of garland-like chain. The pins will keep most jewelry pieces in place, and the u-shaped pins (optional but handy) are especially useful for anchoring larger pieces. The hot glue really secures them so they don’t slip.


Our DIY jewelry tree is almost finished. We just need the star on top!

Last, add your tree topper. We hot-glued an old hat pin to the back of this star to hold it in position at the top of the tree.


Our gorgeous vintage jewelry tree is complete!

All done! Now you just need to decide where to display it. A glamorous wintertime tablescape would be absolutely lovely, or perhaps your desk at the office needs some fabulous Yuletide cheer. You can adapt this craft in many ways to fit your own creative style and holiday decorating desires. For example, try covering a foam wreath in metallic wire organza ribbon and festoon it with your choice of jewelry to create a fantastic hanging display.

We love giving new life to discarded objects, especially when it’s so striking. Forgotten heirlooms can become new heirlooms, infused with memories and meaning.

by Sara Bir


Pumpkin Panna Cotta: An Easy No-Bake Thanksgiving Dessert

panna cotta overhead

Pumpkin panna cotta, a delicious alternative to traditional Thanksgiving desserts.

For many dessert lovers, it’s not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. For us, baking pumpkin pie is an annual drag with too many steps—making the crust, rolling it out, making the filling, and then nailing the baking time so the bottom crust isn’t gluey and the filling is set but not overcooked.

So we came up with a no-bake dessert that’s simpler, faster, and just as tasty. The classic Italian dessert panna cotta (the name translates to “cooked cream”) is a delicately-textured cream set with just enough gelatin to help it keep its shape. At once rich and light, it’s not as cloyingly sweet as pumpkin pie, and it’s a satisfying finale to a big, grand meal. With pumpkin puree and warm autumn spices added, this panna cotta takes the flavors of pumpkin pie to a refined level. Our secret weapon? A little white chocolate to soften the edges of the spice. Best of all, it takes only about ten minutes to mix together, and you can make it up to three days in advance. This recipe easily doubles.

 Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Serves 6-8

We’re using vintage aspic molds with an average 1/2 -cup capacity in the photos here, but you can just as easily chill the panna cottas in ramekins, Pyrex custard cups, or small teacups. A large, shallow dish or bowl that holds at least one quart will work, too, though it will take longer to set in the refrigerator.

Aspic Molds

Vintage aspic molds are a great option for chilling panna cotta, but teacups and ramekins will work just as nicely.

We like to serve these panna cottas with a sprinkling of pretty pomegranate seeds; they add a pleasingly tart crunch. Small store-bought cookies like gingersnaps or wafer rolls are nice garnishes, too.

 1 small envelope (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon garam masala spice blend, optional but highly recommended (just trust us here)
pinch salt
2 ounces good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped (Ghirardelli is a decent, widely available brand)
½ cup sour cream (not low-fat)
¾ cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, but don’t use canned pumpkin pie mix)

If you plan on unmolding the panna cottas for serving, spray the inside of the molds with nonstick vegetable spray.

Put the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for five minutes to allow the gelatin granules to hydrate.

panna cottas in molds

The mixture is divided between molds and ready to chill.

In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the heavy cream, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, garam masala, and salt. Warm over medium-high heat until it’s the temperature of a very hot bath; do not allow to boil. Add the chopped white chocolate, remove from heat, and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted. Then add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

In a large bowl or glass measuring cup with a 4-cup capacity, stir together the sour cream and pumpkin. Pour in the cream mixture and stir until combined. Divide between the serving dishes (or dish) and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or up to three days before serving. If you won’t be serving them the day you make them, cover the panna cottas with plastic wrap.

panna cotta side

Serve and enjoy. Bon appétit!

To unmold, gently dip the mold in hot water for about ten seconds and invert on a serving plate. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and sprinkle a tiny bit of garam masala on top, if you like.

by Sara Bir


Planning Ahead for Your Holiday Party Style

Holiday Party

The work party, the family gatherings, the cozy hours spent with friends. Before you haul out your tinsel and boughs of holly, take a step back and do the one thing that will secure your sanity though the holiday season: get your fashion plan together. If you have your holiday style sketched out ahead of time for all the parties and gatherings planned between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy those special moments that much more.

We’ve pulled together our favorite celebratory accessories for three popular holiday events. By adding new jewelry, you can mix and match winter wardrobe essentials that are already in your closet to easily build new and eye-catching outfits for every occasion.

We’ve focused on three events you could expect to attend during the holiday season: a semi-formal work party, dressy cocktails with friends, and casual family get-togethers. Finding spectacular jewelry to rock at these events is a great gift for yourself. The newfound baubles you select for the season will be perfectly fashionable all year long.

Work Party

Remember Day to Night Barbie from the 1980s? A force to be reckoned with in the office, this Barbie had a pink power suit with a pencil skirt that reversed to reveal a magenta tulle number for her hot night out with Ken. You don’t need to sport Barbie’s metallic tank top under your blazer, but her desk-to-party strategy is certainly a smart one. Pack some bright jewelry and killer shoes in your tote to instantly transform your office looks from business as usual to smart and dazzling. Our sapphire snowflake pendant necklace pairs nicely with solid turtlenecks or blouses, and its dramatic glamour adds refined pizzazz to professional attire. Alternatively, our pearl and silver bangle stack brings bold elegance to nearly any blazer or sweater. From there, all you need is a swift swap from practical footwear to platform heels or structured metallic boots to complete the workday to soiree transformation.

Work Party

Bring glitz to your work party with this glamorously festive sapphire snowflake necklace.

Work Party - Pearl Bangle

Transform your look from workday to holiday soiree with this stunning faux pearl and silver tone bangle stack.

Friendly Cocktails

Though the mood may be casual, an evening with friends is a great chance to pump up the glamor, let loose and really shine. Our color craze collar necklace is just playful enough to bring a touch of the unexpected to any cocktail party. For a different look, match our multi-cut pave crystal earrings and our crystal-encrusted stretch link bracelet with a lux satin or dupioni silk ensemble. You can’t go wrong dressing up a basic shift in a shimmery fabric with fabulously fun accessories.This spectacularly colorful kaleidoscope necklace is perfect for a casual holiday cocktail party.

Party with Friends

This spectacularly colorful kaleidoscope necklace is perfect for a casual holiday cocktail party.

Cocktail Bracelet

A wintry evening spent with friends is made even merrier with this pave link stretch bracelet.

Cocktail Earrings

Treat yourself for the holiday season with these party-ready crystal drop earrings.

Family Get Together

To relax and unwind with family, long pendants are a great alternative to statement necklaces. This smoky blue crystal and gold-tone tassel necklace and earring set would pair perfectly with a cozy turtleneck sweater and jeans. For a trendy geometric look, our green cascade drop earrings make a statement without being overly formal.  To convert an everyday outfit into something special for your holiday gathering, incorporate a faux fur vest or layer on a draping wrap cardigan.

Family Get Together

Glam up your family gathering with this stunning crystal fringe necklace.

family get together earrings

These seasonally on point geometric earrings will look great for the holidays as well as year-round.

What’s the secret to shining brightly through the holiday season? Just a bit of planning. Pick out the perfect party baubles now and you will sail through the madness of the holidays with plenty of time and energy to spend on spoiling the ones you love.

by Sara Bir