For Lea Church Brendle, the narratives of our lives are what are most important. The story of her career began with Puff Kids, a sterling pendant she bought and wore because it told the beginnings of her adventure as a mother and inspired her creation of her business, Simply Sterling & Company, almost 16 years ago.
From Home Shows to Storefront
Originally a home show company, Simply Sterling was so well-branded and widely known in the area that many mistook it for a chain sales company. Six years ago, the business grew into its current state as a retail storefront at Thruway Shopping Center that also offers handbags, accessories, gifts and clothing. “Every step of Simply Sterling has been one of growth and adventure, not only for the business, but also for me as a person,” said Lea.
Made in the U.S.A.
Many of the jewelry lines carried by Simply Sterling are handmade right here in the U.S.A. “Although we have been smitten with beautiful things made in foreign lands, the tide has surely turned our focus to items made within our own borders, or at least made by hands that were paid a fair wage. We have been proud to support several small jewelry businesses in the U.S.A., such as Holly Lane Designs, J & I Jewelry and Liquid Metal by Sergio Guitierezz.”
Merchandise with a Story
Lea carefully selects beautiful pieces that have a great story behind them. “The product lines that I’ve had the greatest success with over the years have had a story – a story I could get behind and believe in and in turn, share that passion with our customers, completing the circle.” Liquid Metal’s story is one of immense creativity of its designer, Sergio Gutierrez, who patented the method of making jewelry from ball chain electronic circuitry components. Born in Columbia, he came to the United States to make a dream come true, and it did. “His work was unique in its own right and it only takes a blink of an eye and a second of feeling it on your wrist to captivate your senses!” One of their most popular lines is faithbased Holly Lane Designs (HLD). Each piece has a Biblical meaning, such as Lea’s HLD “Birds of the Air” necklace. “It reminds me that if the Lord takes care of the sparrows, then he will certainly take of me, too!” she says. “It reminds me to ‘stop worrying’ daily.” The jewelry line Waxing Poetic has honed in on dainty pieces and parts that customers select to share their story, from monogrammed charms to child silhouettes with names inscribed. Women of all ages are captured by this slightly edgy collection, making it a well-rounded gift-giving line! With the core collection in sterling silver, the balance is embellished or created in brass with accents of stone.
A Heart-Warming Tale
Simply Sterling sells jewelry and so much more, but these objects help customers tell their own story. “You will find subtle and meaningful sentiments in our lines BB Becker and Lenny & Eva, and hand scribed creative pieces from Island Cowgirl,” said Lea, “all waiting their turn to be a part of the story. With February being the month of love, let us share with you our favorites that would warm or woo any heart!” “We never know who is walking in our door, or what their story is; people need earnest interaction and service of someone who cares, people willing to be vulnerable and able to love the unlovable, to be Jesus with skin on; this is the type of story I want to be a part of every day.”
Simply Sterling & Company is located at Thruway Shopping Center at 304 S. Stratford Rd., Winston-Salem, NC. Call at (336) 896-0077. www.simplysterling.com .
Hours are Monday-Saturday 10AM-7PM.