Are you the sort of person who likes one-of-a-kind accessories? Do you love to play around with bits and pieces of chain, beads, and metal shapes? Do you buy ready-to-wear jewelry, then re-design it to suit your own taste? Do you love to wear something different each day, but can’t lug a huge jewelry box when you travel?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you’ll be intrigued by Switch Gear Interchangeable Jewelry, created by Lisa Monahan Metal Works.
I met Lisa at the Holiday Gift Expo at the Marriott Hotel in Times Square, a short while ago. Her table was filled with lots of small, round, clear, plastic containers. Some were singles and some were stacked two, three and four, high. Inside each container, were colorful chains, stones, chains, metal shapes, rubber rings, and jewelery findings that make a kit creating one or more bracelets, earrings, or pendants.
The patent-pending kits come in a variety of different configurations. For example, the Chickit Set ($75.00) I tried creates what Monaghan claims are hundreds of unique earring and necklace combinations, using just a pair of sterling silver lever-back earrings, and a slim, sterling silver, box chain, plus 6 pairs of thee little bits of “bling” you can see in the photo. It was super-easy to pick out a few things to load onto the earrings or the chain. And it is really a lot of fun to figure out what combos you want to wear from this little kit. And, I love the idea that you can take all of it with you in a tiny plastic box, and have something new to wear literally every day you’re on the road. Of course, you can do the same, at home.
My one criticism, if you can all it that, is that none of these kits are huge. You can get add-ons through the Switch Gear website, but they’re pricey. Perhaps too many pieces might be clumsy or overwhelming to those who lack a lot of creativity or time to ponder which pieces to use, but for $75.00 I’d like to see more than 6 pairs of “jewelry add-ons,” included, with more color choices.
That being said, the idea is still cute, novel, and fun. There are earring only sets, teen sets, and necklaces running upwards of several hundred dollars, that let you express yourself in a new way, every day. Naysayers may argue that it is easy enough to assemble your own jewelry-to-go kit, by simply collecting little bits of things you think are pretty to add to a chain, or to lever-back earrings (which are readily available in hobby and jewelry supply shops). But part of the allure of this is that it is already done for you, and the packaging makes the Switch Gear kits look precious and special. And, 5% of the profits of Switch Gear sets are donated to help fight domestic violence. More specifically, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and The Second Step, Inc, – a greater Boston area support organization for survivors and their families. Look good and do good at the same time!
Here are prices for the kits:
Classic earring set: $115
Chickit jewelry set: $75
Teen jewelry set: $60
Shift earring set: $49
3-2-Go! Earring set: $45.
Visit www.switchgearkit.com to learn more, and to order yours. Right now, there is free shipping as well. If you are looking for something unique for yourself, or for a special gift, a Switch Gear kit is just the thing.
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