Of course I was curious about how someone decides to make such colorful, intricate pieces. The quadruple wrap bracelets are stunning and really caught my eye. Also, I love things made on Martha’s Vineyard, and know there’s usually a cool story there.
So, I met with Laura Caruso, the woman responsible for these great pieces. Laura Hearn Caruso is a 11th generation Islander. Have you ever passed by Carl’s Way, heading up-Island? Well, that was her grandpa, and he always got his way, hence the name.
The family owns much of that land around the Tisbury Great Pond, and she and her husband and daughter are in the process of building their home on the family land.
Laura grew up off-Island, spending every Summer and whenever possible here. She got married, had a baby, and was a stay-at-home mom/dog trainer. Yes, Laura is sort of a dog whisperer. Since she was a little girl, she has had a way with dogs. She had Milkbones always available for neighborhood dogs and any dog for that matter.
So how does a dog trainer decide to make jewelry? Well, two years ago, Laura and her family moved to the Vineyard full-time because of the better schools, and of course, to be close to her family and friends and the Island she loves.
I should also mention that Laura was very much a tomboy. She very rarely wore jewelry. One day, while here on the Vineyard, Laura wore a necklace with her dress, and her daughter Morgan said “Mommy, you look so beautiful.”
Laura loved this unsolicited compliment from her 4-year-old little girl. Turns out, the jewelry really made Morgan happy, she loves it.
This little bit of positive reinforcement from her daughter made Laura want to wear more jewelry. Laura really wanted a Chan Luu bracelet. It was a little pricey for her, so she decided she would make her own. Seriously, I can barely thread a needle, and Laura decided she would teach herself how to make wrap bracelets.
Becoming a Jewelry Maker
She even switched up her materials. Instead of the silky thread usually used, she uses fancy fishing line (idea came during the Derby). She found that it’s more durable, longer lasting, cheaper, and all around just better.
People started to notice her jewelry and ask where she got. She was surprised by all the attention she got. People wanted to buy it right off her wrist, which happened a couple of times. It became obvious that she was onto something.
She also decided to start selling her jewelry at the flea markets that happen around the Island, and her pieces were very popular. So, she made more.
Then Citrine in Vineyard Haven began to carry her jewelry. Early this Summer, Slip 77 started carrying her wrap bracelets, and they can’t keep them in stock.
Wrap bracelets are her speciality, and they are gorgeous! She does single, double, triple or as I mentioned, even quadruple leather wrap bracelets. She has also introduced leather cuffs and wire wrapped cuffs, and she has a Czech glass jewelry collection.
Don’t forget to check out the button clasp on the wrap bracelets, Laura has a great collection of vintage buttons that she uses, making your piece even more unique and one of a kind.
I think one of the reasons MV Treasures is so popular is because of the colors Laura uses. She is inspired by the land, and her surroundings. With that, there are many shades of beige (sand), blue (water), and green (all those trees in West Tisbury).
Whether it’s the stone or glass beads in the wrap bracelets or the glass beads in the earrings, you can see a little bit of color from Martha’s Vineyard, and MV Treasure.
Of course there are some bright and rich colors too. You have to work with some other fun colors like pink and purple, especially when your biggest fan is your little girl.
As a matter of fact, I loved a custom piece that she was working on when I was there, and asked if she had any pearls leftover to make me one. Lucky for me she did, I love my MV Treasures bracelet.
Her daughter, Morgan, is also into jewelry making now too. As you can imagine, both girls have quite the jewelry collection now.
It is absolutely amazing that Laura taught herself to make jewelry, loves doing it, her daughter loves it, and it is a successful business for her. It’s kind of inspirational. It’s the old “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything” bit, but so true.
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