'Pop up' jewelry store draws a bead on Downtown

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  • | 12:00 p.m. December 11, 2009
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by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

When you’re a vintage bead collector, jewelry designer and entrepreneur and discover a warehouse full of vintage beads, what do you do?

If you’re Danielle Insetta, you buy the beads and begin a new venture called “circa sixty three.”

“I started making jewelry in my apartment in 2005,” she said. “I got it going as a business last year when I bought an entire inventory of beads form a company in Rhode Island that went out of business in 1980. They had millions of beads just sitting in a warehouse and it took a year just to inventory and catalog what we had.”

They weren’t just any beads, she added. They were authentic lucite beads manufactured in the 1960s. That makes them exquisitely valuable when it comes to high-end costume jewelry because the material refracts light in a unique way.

“It’s like the difference between glass and lead crystal. Lucite doesn’t really look like plastic, it looks more like a mineral,” Insetta explained. “And these beads weren’t molded, they were crafted by hand on lathes. You don’t find this quality anymore.”

The company is truly a small business with only three people including Insetta who design, craft and market the necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They’ve traveled the world attending fashion industry trade shows and have had quite a bit of success in a short period of time.

“You can find circa sixty three in stores in Milan, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and on Madison Avenue. We’re displayed next to Prada and Chanel,” said Insetta. The line has also been featured in fashion magazines like “Women’s Wear Daily,” “Nylon,” “Teen Vogue” and “Seventeen.”

The Jacksonville native just returned home from Washington, D.C. and decided to open what’s called a “pop up store” on West Adams Street next door to Chew restaurant. The concept is fairly new and a result of the slack economy. It allows retailers to set up shop quickly and on a temporary basis to take advantage of seasonal shopping patterns, or in Insetta’s case, to introduce circa sixty three to the local market. She’s also glad to be home.

“Jacksonville just feels like the right place to headquarter the business,” said Insetta. “It’s a good place to for us to focus and get creative.”

Insetta must have a knack for discovering hidden treasure troves of vintage and retro fashion items. She also owns the entire remaining inventory of authentic Joseph LaRose shoes and has some of those at circa sixty three as well.

The “pop up” store will be open today and next Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. To see the entire product line go to www.circasixtythree.com.

Circa sixty three also has a collection of original Joseph LaRose shoes.

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