Looking for that one-of-a-kind handmade piece of jewelry for your loved one? Look no further than local upcycled jewelry artist, Lucy Kelly, and her business, bel monili.
Lucy is the owner of bel monili, where she makes and sells upcycled jewelry from North Huntingdon, PA. Inspired by her grandmother’s antique shop, she turned her jewelry-making hobby into a successful business, selling her unique pieces at artist shows and fairs, and online through her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
“I had the incredible joy and fortune to grow up appreciating art and antiques at my grandmother’s knee,” Lucy says. “When I was a child, my grandmother (Bubbie) had a little antique shop about five houses down from our home.”
As a child, Lucy spent a lot of time learning from her grandmother and going with her on buying trips. Lucy’s “Bubbie” instilled in her that a piece is made valuable by the love poured into it. Lucy has carried that value with her into her own jewelry business, which she started in 2010. Her unique work is composed of vintage costume jewelry pieces, which she thoughtfully seeks out by scouring local flea markets and antique shops. Lucy then uses these vintage pieces in combination with a mixture of vintage and modern beads to create her highly sought-after one of a kind designs.
Beyond gifting a unique jewelry piece, you can feel good about supporting a local business that also supports other artisans. Running two small businesses on her own, Lucy Kelly has to make the most of her time and money. That’s why her work to support other creative small businesses across the region and country is so impressive. bel monili has been successful enough that people began to seek out Lucy for advice on creating their own artistic businesses.
From the idea of helping other small businesses get started, Lucy created a second business: Bloom by bel monili. Bloom offers classes to makers who want to turn their artistic passions into businesses. Lucy shares what she’s learned through trial and error, including how to find and market to customers all across the world online. She’s particularly good at learning how to effectively utilize ads on Facebook and Instagram and she teaches others so they can quickly grow a customer base. Lucy has had over 400 students participate in her main course, Get Online, Grow Online, since launching in 2020, 80% of which have signed up through social media. Bloom has students who started from scratch that now have engaged social media followings, strong email lists, and thriving websites. In fact, at least four of Lucy’s students have left their day jobs completely because their handmade business has grown to the point that it replaced their income.
“Facebook and Instagram, particularly Shop and Ads, have been instrumental to my success, allowing me to branch out across the country and target people specifically interested in the type of jewelry I create,” Lucy commented. “As a result, social media strategies are a large component of the courses I teach.”
Lucy took her goal to share her knowledge one step further and launched her first book in April 2022, titled Beaded Jewelry Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces, and More, published by SkyHorse Publishing. The book is a beginners guide to making jewelry and includes a comprehensive explanation of the tools and supplies needed to make custom jewelry.
“I am so thankful for the support I’ve received for my work, allowing me to transition from being a speech-language pathologist to following my passion for beautiful jewelry full-time,” says Lucy. “It’s an honor to help others realize a similar path and to infuse love into my customers’ lives through my art.”
Lucy is always adding new, unique pieces to her online store so be sure to check it regularly and sign up to be a VIP to learn about new items first.
bel monili can be found on Facebook (@belmonili), Instagram (@belmonili), and belmonili.com.