Do you love food so much that you would wear it around your neck? Or hanging from your ears?
If the answer is yes then you are in luck because that’s exactly what sisters Jessica and Susan Partain are making with their company Inedible Jewelry.
I first came across their adorable pieces of “inedible jewelry” while scrolling through instagram. I discovered their hamantaschen jewelry – that’s right, hamantaschen jewelry – and I wanted to learn more. They have challah charms, pomegranate earrings and even matzah jewelry, truly a Jewish female food lover’s dream come true. Jessica was kind enough to give me some of her time over the phone earlier this week, where I learned about how she turned a hobby for dollhouse food into a full time jewelry business.
The sisters aren’t Jewish (it’s ok guys, not everyone is perfect), but food has played an inspirational role in their upbringing. Jessica shared with me that her Italian grandmother was a huge influence in their life. “There was never just dinner – it was a 12 hour eating marathon. One time we even were walking out the door headed to a restaurant and she asked, ‘does anyone need anything to eat before we go to dinner.’ ”
The sisters actually got started by making food for their dollhouse as kids, sculpting handmade, tiny food for their dolls who were “vastly over fed.” When they were in high school they decided playing with dollhouses wasn’t acceptable anymore, so they decided to focus their talents on jewelry. And in 2006 Jessica and Susan turned their part-time hobby into a full-time business, at least for Jessica who runs the business full time out of their native Charlottesville, Virginia. The vibrant farmer’s market in Charlottesville has even served as an incubator for their business, providing a great space to build up their following and test out ideas.
They don’t just make Jewish food of course, but a variety of classic American eats, sweets and even special orders. What’s the craziest request they ever got? A Japanese dessert called Taiyaki, or what is also known as “waffle fish.” And we thought gefilte fish was a strange dish. “Food speaks to such varied, but specific traditions and celebrations. That’s one of the reasons we love making our jewelry,” Jessica shared. People have even proposed with their jewelry!
Check out all their creations including their various hamantaschen pieces on Etsy. And if anyone wants to order me a challah necklace, you know where to find me.
Pronounced: KHAH-luh, Origin: Hebrew, ceremonial bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.