Broken Bottle Boutique

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

Anybody interested in a unique piece of jewelry may wish to check out Broken Bottle Boutique, which features handcrafted jewelry made here in Harlan.

Broken Bottle Boutique owner and creator Shyla Blevins makes all the jewelry by hand.

“I take glass, pottery, ceramic pieces and some stones out of the river and take them home,” Blevins explained. “I shine them up and make them look pretty and turn them into jewelry.”

Blevins said she customizes each piece adding chains and other items to turn out a unique work, which can be worn as jewelry.

Broken Bottle Boutique has been in operation for approximately one year.

“This fall will make a year,” Blevins said.

According to Blevins, she got the idea while fishing.

“I was fishing and walking along the bank and saw all the glass in a sandbar,” Blevins said. “A lot of it was too pretty to be laying there just wasting away.”

Blevins said the idea is similar to “sea glass.”

“Sea Glass is what most people will recognize it as,” Blevins said. “I call it creek glass or mountain glass.”

Blevins said she uses the material mostly to make necklaces.

“Necklaces are my biggest seller,” she said. “But I do make some rings and bracelets. I haven’t tried earrings yet, but that’s a goal in the future.”

Broken Bottle Boutique merchandise is available locally at Sassy Trash in downtown Harlan and the Benham Inn. However, Blevins says most of her sales are at local festivals.

“Most of the time, you can find me at festivals,” she said. “I do pretty much any festival that comes near.”

There is also a Broken Bottle Boutique Facebook page for those wanting more information.

“The page is mostly to show what the jewelry looks like,” Blevins said.

Blevins mentioned the process has a positive impact.

“It’s up-cycling,” Blevins said. “It’s a great way to up-cycle things, and it also helps clean up the river at the same time.”

Blevins said there are also pleasant memories involved in the way the material for the jewelry is acquired.

“I think most people in Harlan County have looked for glass in the river,” Blevins said. “It’s kind of a sweet memory. Also, people who grew up in Harlan and have to move away can buy a necklace and take a piece of home with them.”

Broken Bottle Boutique merchandise will be available at the NIBROC festival in Corbin, coming up on Aug. 9, 10 and 11.

“I’ll be there Thursday through Saturday,” Blevins said.

Blevins, 21, is a Harlan native. In addition to operating Broken Bottle Boutique and working her regular job, she is a member of the local band Kudzu Killers.