Featured Artist – Katie Judah

In August 2015, Block Party Handmade Boutique opened a second location on Frankfort Avenue, expanding their handmade love to the Crescent Hill neighborhood. Katie Judah, came on board alongside Mary Levinsky (owner and genius behind Block Party) as Block Party’s #2 lady!

Mayor Fischer, Katie and Mary

Mayor Fischer, Katie Judah and Mary Levinsky at Block Party Handmade Boutique’s Frankfort Avenue Grand Opening. 

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You started working for Block Party this year. What is your role?

Adelle Rose is what led me to Block Party. I was looking to expand my business from Etsy and occasional craft shows and met with Mary in August 2013. In October, I joined the shop as a co-op artist. I loved working my co-op shifts from the beginning. The shop had such a fun atmosphere and I loved meeting all of the other artists and getting to know them.

When Mary told me she was exploring opening a second shop early this year, I was immediately interested in taking on a bigger role with Block Party. I had worked in banking for 14 years and was looking to make a change to something completely different. I wanted a position where I could be creative but still use all of the management skills I acquired over the previous decade.

Managing Block Party is the perfect job for me, allowing me to use all of the skills I learned at the bank while still being creative and having a lot more fun! In addition to working in the shop and providing customer service, I am also responsible for training all new co-op artists. I schedule co-op shifts and am on call to answer questions when co-op artists are working. I handle the monthly bookkeeping and ensure we have signed contracts on file for all artists. I do a lot behind the scenes so that Mary can focus on finding new artists and vendors for the shop.

Tell us about your business Adelle Rose. 

I started making jewelry about five years ago. At first I just made jewelry for myself and family and friends as gifts. Pretty soon, though, I had more jewelry than I could wear or give away so I decided to start selling some of my work. Etsy provided a great place for me to get started and I opened my shop there in January 2011.

I have always loved fashion and accessories and making jewelry allows me to share that love with others. I use vintage beads and materials when I can -I love to take apart old necklaces, earrings and brooches and make them into something new.

What is one of the most interesting vintage items you’ve used in your jewelry?

I have made jewelry using lots of different vintage materials. I have cut up doilies and used the flowers as links in earrings, ripped pages from old books and decoupaged them to bracelets and turned buttons (lots and lots of buttons!) into bobby pins and earrings. The most interesting vintage item I have ever used to make jewelry, however, is very personal. My grandma had a double strand aurora borealis necklace and I used to play with it all the time as a little girl. Eventually it broke and only one strand remained. I used those beads to make earrings for my mom and myself. Now every time I wear them, I think of my grandma.

What’s your favorite local place to go thrifting at?

I love to go to Crazy Daisy Antique Mall. I have found so many treasures there. One booth in particular always has lots of vintage sewing notions and supplies for which I have a considerable weakness.

If you could go back and visit any decade, which would you choose and why?

My husband and I recently started watching Mad Men on Netflix (several years too late, I know) and despite all of the issues the characters on that show face, the clothes and accessories are simply stunning. No matter how dark the events going on may be, I never fail to sigh happily at Betty’s dress and bright red lipstick or Joan’s stunning brooch. So as long as I’m just visiting, I would have to say the 1960s.

You can find Adelle Rose jewelry at both Block Party’s downtown and Frankfort Avenue locations

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