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Artisans of style

Local designers blend form and function into fabulous fashion

Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 12:55 p.m. CDT

Fashion is art you wear, every day. It expresses your own sense of style and becomes a personal statement, often as distinct as your own skin. So when you are searching for that form of artistic expression, look to local fashion designers, artisans of style, right here in our communities!

CIRCLE OF STONES At Circle of Stones in LaGrange, owners Rebecca Martin and Cory Gunterman have created a unique interactive shopping experience that blends boutique and art gallery into one. At Circle of Stones, you can find artisan jewelry, crystals, clay and tribal pieces.

Clients can build a bracelet at the “charm bar,” learn to wire beads by hand or design your own simple jewelry. One hundred square feet of gemstones, African beads, Czech glass, crystals and more are on hand, and the workspace is available for up to fifteen people to enjoy. Relax in the store’s workshop anytime, and make use of tools, receive design help and get inspired by the items available.

Should you have a special event coming up, like a wedding or a prom, artisans at Circle of Stones can help you to design custom special event jewelry to gift and wear.

In addition to hand-made jewelry, rare imported goods, and wonderful objects, Circle of Stones also features the works of local artists, potters, textile designers and weftworkers for sale in its La Grange Gallery.

CLA-SHA Further north in downtown Elmhurst, Claudia Arroyo and Shannon Johnson are busy sewing, wiring, knitting, cutting leather and quilting their way to fashion success. This duo of designers opened their shop, Cla-Sha, on Addison Street one year ago. Johnson is also an instructor at the International Academy of Design and Technology, where Arroyo was her student. A friendship grew, and a business emerged.

ClaSha products are designed and handcrafted by the shop designers, much of it on-site. Products are one-of-a-kind and custom orders are welcome. 

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