Shop Class: Philly’s hidden jewels

Our columnist uncovers the city’s best jewelry, which includes metal bracelets, ribbon necklaces and pendants called “Amethyst Fish.” She also finds another gem: Ladies Night at a men’s boutique.

Ladies Night at Sazz Vintage
38 N. Third St., 215-923-7299,

Dresses are now battling leisure suits for rack space at Sazz Vintage. This boutique has specialized in men’s vintage fashions since opening up shop in Old City last May. Bursting at the seams with western shirts, leisure suits and bell-bottoms, Sazz recently added skirts to the mix. What originally started as a small rack of women’s fashions in the back corner of the store has expanded to several racks of great vintage finds for women. Floral linens and pastel tulle peek out from the dress racks, while saddle and platform shoes line the floor.

On Thursdays, Sazz gets even more girly with Ladies Night. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., it rolls out several racks of women’s fashions, handbags and shoes. Snag some great dresses of every decade from the 1940s to 1980s. Find your inner hippie with embroidered denim from the 1960s and rock out in 1970s leather jackets. Accessorize with leather saddlebags and satin gloves. Discover Sazz’s stash of vintage jewelry, which features 1950s beaded necklaces and rhinestone earrings. If that selection isn’t sweet enough for you, worry not: they also have cookies.

StaciZ Jewelry Design
Available at Matthew Izzo,
1109 Walnut St.,

A former photography major at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Staci Zeitenberg left the darkroom one day and tried a jewelry design class. In the world of gemstones and metals, she found her passion.
Since then, Zeitenberg has developed a forte in metalworking and jewelry design. Her creative spirit allows her to twist wire in extremely unique ways and produce eye-catching handcrafted jewelry.

This jewelry is anything but ordinary. Geometric patterns of silver loops are linked together with wire to create bracelets. The eccentricity of Zeitenberg’s designs is displayed in the titles, as if the pieces weren’t crazy enough. The “Amethyst Fish” is a sterling silver pendant, made from woven wire accented with purple beads. “Perfect Mess” is a fitting title for a pendant woven with wire, silver and turquoise beads. Each piece is crafted from hammered sterling and argentium silver and wire. Look for accents of turquoise, onyx and hematite in these unique accessories.

Jewelry from Nicole Rae Styer
Available at Aci Nae Boutique
1928 E. Passyunk Ave.

Aci Nae Boutique in South Philly sells Nicole Rae Styer’s custom-made jewelry. The designer’s pieces often utilize ribbon and fabric flowers (Daniel Dat Nguyen/TTN).

There is nothing this girl can’t do. Since 2005, Nicole Rae Styer has been perfecting her clothing line of dresses, tops, skirts, belts, handbags and even lingerie. Just when you thought her line featured everything a girl could need, she surprises Philly with new jewelry designs. This fall, Styer is testing the waters of jewelry making with pieces that echo her original clothing line.

After graduating from the University of the Arts with a degree in fibers and textile design, Styer began to collect vintage fabrics and fashions she found in her travels and daily adventures. From her stash of vintage floral fabrics, she began producing one-of-a-kind cocktail dresses and other women’s fashions.
A typical Nicole Rae Styer piece features intricate patterns and combinations of ribbons, bows, lace, floral textiles and even feathers. Tiered skirts and slips lined with multi-colored ribbons and lace embody a Moulin Rouge style, while old-fashioned bodices and sweetheart necklines combined with Styer’s contemporary accents create a fashion time-warp.

New jewelry designs include necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Ribbons adorn long beaded necklaces, and her bracelets flash back to prom with ornate fabric flowers that look like corsages.

Nicole Saylor can be reached at

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