Beauty / Style Finds: Jewelry with a Message, The Sassy Trashionista

I started Beauty / Style Finds to highlight small shops and vegan / eco-friendly  brands. Normally, I focus on both small shops  / boutiques and larger brands, but after reading April’s responses (founder of The Sassy Trashionista) to my questions, I was compelled to only highlight her work this week. She’s quite inspiring! She’s  encouraged me to give these small shops their own features. Enjoy the read, lovelies!

April, The Sassy Trashionista
April Lemmon, founder of The Sassy Trashionista

What is your jewlery made from?
I upcycle as many materials for my jewelry as I possibly can. The handstamped pendants and bracelets as well as the knife end tassels pendants are made from vintage and antique silver plated flatware. I like the idea of using beat up, broke down and long forgotten materials {let’s face it, very few of us are using silver plated flatware for our daily meals} and transforming them in to something beautiful and new.

The scarves and leather I use in my tassel necklaces are created by repurposing vintage scarves and leather furniture swatches. We live in such an incredibly disposable society, it makes me feel good knowing I might be saving something from the landfill.

I’m always poking around at my local thrift stores to see what I might find that can be turned in to something new. My granny called this “make do.” When she was growing up in rural West Virginia they didn’t have all the necessary materials they needed to get a job done, so they learned to improvise. I’d like to think I carry on some form of this Appalachian ingenuity.

The findings {clasps, closures, etc.}, and stringing materials are brand new as I want to ensure the structural integrity of each piece. Additionally, I use new Czech glass and natural gemstone beads, however every now and then I get lucky and find some fabulous vintage beads that I throw in to the mix!

LICBLOG 1What led you to start your business?
I have been making jewelry as a hobby for the past 10 years or so, but what eventually led me to make this a full time job was a swift kick in the pants called losing my job. The company I worked for went out of business after 18 years, and I lost my job as a graphic designer. So the family and I talked it over and I decided to go for it!

I literally started out with a $20 set of stamps and a set of spoons I found at the thrift store. I started my company with zero dollars in capital and no investors. Looking back I see how incredibly crazy the idea was, but somehow I made it work.

A year ago I felt like I was just stamping words in to metal, and to be honest I guess I was. It was only recently when I started to heal some old wounds and deal with past issues that I found the courage to stamp the things I wanted to say, or that touched me personally and not to worry so much about the things I think people would want to buy. At that point there was literally a switch in my work and the intention I put in to it.

The Sassy Trashionista necklace

I did a lot of shows and to see the expression on women’s faces…the work really resonated with them. I have seen women cry because they felt like someone understood how they felt. That’s when it really hit home for me…my purpose was to make jewelry to inspire and empower women. 

Since then I’ve reworked my website which just recently relaunched and I’m working on getting my Etsy shop updated as well. I also have several wholesale accounts here in Ohio as well as Kentucky and Virginia. In addition to that, my work is featured at the Arthurdale Heritage Museum Craft Shop in Arthurdale, WV which is the site of Eleanor Roosevelt’s first New Deal Community.


What are your creative sources of inspiration?
There are a lot of things that inspire me to keep creating. I am continually inspired working with women to create their personal “I Am” pendants. This pendant is completely customizable and allows you to choose up to 28 words to describe yourself.

It occurred to me that, as women, we’re really good at pointing out all of the magnificent things about our girlfriends and female family members, but when it comes to ourselves, we sometimes struggle. I want to inspire women to think of themselves in a more loving and positive light and to wear their pendant as an affirmation of who they truly are. I want every woman to recognize her personal and unique beauty and the gifts she has to offer this world.



I am further inspired by my recent partnership with The Domestic Violence Project. Ten percent profits from sales are donated to the organization and we are currently in discussion about how else I can be of service, be it through speaking or hands on activities with residents of the shelter.

I am organizing a benefit October 1, 2016 {October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month} called “Stamp Out Domestic Violence” with all of the proceeds from auction items going to benefit the Domestic Violence Project.

All product photos taken by April Lemmon

Keep up with The Sassy Trashionista! And don’t forget to claim your discount by April 30 (see details above).

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Emelda De Coteau
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