Crystal Clear

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Bold-colored Rock Candy rings. Sparkling Swarovski crystal bracelets in fourteen gorgeous hues. Dramatic, one-of-a-kind, twenty-two-inch Boucle necklaces. These are just a few of the hot-selling items from Objets d’Envy, a local jewelry line designed by Kirsten Goede that uses, primarily, awe-inspiring Swarovski crystals in the creations.

“The overwhelming reaction is, ‘Wow!’ because the Swarovski crystals are legendary,” says Goede, on the initial reaction to her pieces. “People look to see what the sparkle is.”

After being chosen as one of the featured designers in last October’s Designers of Chicago event at Macy’s, Goede’s line began to catch the eye of Chicago shoppers—not that they needed too much help. The bright colors, chunky shapes and light-catching crystals are hard to miss, and they satisfy accessory needs while offering a dose of cheer.

“[It’s] my happy bracelet,” says a loyal Goede customer of her favorite piece.

But it’s not just stylish Chicagoans who have taken notice of Goede’s work. Her jewelry has been featured on “The Today Show” and has been spotted around Hollywood on the likes of Susan Sarandon and other celebrities.

Goede, 41, a St. Louis native, came to Chicago in 1994. Before she was a jewelry designer, she was a graphic designer and made jewelry for herself for about five years. “I started doing it for myself to have unusual pieces to wear,” she says. She is mostly self-taught when it comes to designing jewelry, aside from one class and collaborations with other jewelry-making friends.

Strong sales have kept Objets d’Envy in Macy’s display cases since October, and with her creativity going strong, they’re likely to stay there, although she gives all the credit to the crystals. “I have the beauty of Swarovski crystals to start with,” she says. At work on her fall collection, Goede says we can expect more dramatic pieces incorporating oversized stones, lots of chain and plenty of grape, purple and cranberry colors. (Mary Susan Littlepage)

Find Objets d’Envy at Macy’s on State Street and on the company’s Web site, They will be featured at the City Sidewalk Sale on July 22 and July 23 at Daley Plaza.

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