• Wednesday , 21 February 2018

American Boho Boutique Giving Vintage Jewelry New Life

Story, photos by Jill Beckel

Explore recently had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Haley Waugh on a warm January Sunday morning. Haley is the owner of American Boho, a small Philadelphia-based jewelry boutique. According to her website, “American Boho is a small boutique with original designs from repurposed pieces. This shop is dedicated to providing customers with affordable, one-of-a-kind accessories including hand-selected vintage items. As this small business grows, American Boho can be seen in small consignment boutiques or pop-up shops in Philadelphia.”

Originally from Maine, Haley went to college in Massachusetts where she studied public relations and minored in fine art. She then moved to Philly to pursue museum studies for her master’s at the University of the Arts. Haley possesses many talents and interests and is an artist, art teacher, photographer, makeup artist and jewelry designer. She currently works as an After School Arts Coordinator at Greene Street Friends School teaching art at an after school program where she loves working with the kids. She is also a markeup artist for Savoy Company Productions and is a makeup and wardrobe assistant for the Orpheus Club.

Haley first started designing jewelry in grad school and then the hobby soon progressed into a small business. She is a self-taught jewelry designer. She has always collected beads and shells throughout her life which inspired her to be more creative about how to use them. She likes to mimic current jewelry trends, but gets inspiration from vintage finds and bohemian fashion as well. She loves searching for vintage jewelry pieces (costume jewelry, broken jewelry, brooches, etc.) to turn into something new. For example, a broken earring may become a beautiful new statement necklace with a few tweaks and additions. Everything that she designs, she would wear herself.

Haley’s clients range from women in their 20’s to 60’s. She finds that younger women are really into her rings and older women like sets of matching earrings and necklaces. Haley got the chance to design custom jewelry for her friend’s wedding recently and hopes to market to brides and bridesmaids for wedding jewelry and gifts soon. Custom orders are available per special request and people often message her on Instagram requesting certain jewelry pieces. She did several unique custom holiday pieces around the holidays. Now Haley is working on designing spring jewelry items.

During our visit, I got to watch Haley in action as she made me a beautiful custom ring! I chose silver with a sparkly aquamarine blue stone. It is very on-trend, yet also special since it was made just for me. I’ve already received compliments! I have small fingers, so it was nice to be able to receive a ring that I knew was going to fit perfectly. Haley’s ability to customize each piece to the person’s preference and ring size is something that sets her apart from other jewelry designers.

American Boho’s original jewelry pieces can currently be found for sale at South Street Sounds and OCF Coffee House in Fairmount. Stay connected to American Boho Designs via their social media pages:

For more information, please contact Haley at AmericanBoho@gmail.com or send her a message via her social pages.

American Boho display.

Haley’s vintage finds are repurposed as new jewelry pieces.

Haley’s jewelry designs displayed among vintage jewelry boxes, purses and frames.

A strikingly green gemstone necklace.

A delicate gold necklace.

Jewelry making tools.

Some brooches beautifully displayed.

American Boho’s beautiful rings displayed on a handmade wine cork board tray.

Photo by Haley Waugh.

Haley’s inspiration board.

A variety of beads and baubles waiting to be made into jewelry pieces.

One of Haley’s popular rings.

Haley creating a custom ring for me.

Haley does all of the jewelry making herself by hand at her home workshop.

Creating the band of the ring.

Each ring is custom made with gold or silver wire as the band.

Adjusting the ring size for the perfect fit.

I chose an aquamarine sparkly stone set in silver.

Photo by Haley Waugh.

Haley’s adorable dog, Nathan, and cat, Loki.

Nathan adorably followed us around during our interview with Haley. He is the proud American Boho mascot!

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