Back to Brooches – My New Bling Love

Brooches played a big part in an extraordinary life event.

DIY Brooch BouquetFor my wedding, I created a homemade tear apart brooch bouquet? It was designed to be two bouquets — one going to my mom and one to my husband’s mother as a thank you during the ceremony.

It would be five years before the accessory would become my new bling love.

I don’t have an extensive collection of jewelry. I have very few necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings. The reason? I am allergic to nickel.

Porcelain Brooch - Thrift StoresNickel allergy affects 17% of women and 3% of men and is the common cause of contact dermatitis — an itchy rash that appears where your skin touches a usually harmless substance.  Nickel can be found in earrings, zippers, necklaces, rings, cell phones and eyeglass frames.

The only pieces of jewelry I can wear is the items made of sterling silver or over 14k gold.

That was until I rediscovered brooches.

I am a volunteer at Community Services Thrift Store every week. I sift through the donations, price and put them on the store floor. And we get a lot of unique items.

20170708_090206Brooches are one of those items that get donated as people clean out their closets, go through a loved one’s possessions or just reduce their clutter. They may be considered “dated” and more heirloom than functional.

We receive brooches made of porcelin, metal, and gemstones. Some are priceless, and some are just modern pieces of art.

For me, brooches give me a pop of colour.  I have a conversation piece of jewelry that doesn’t come in contact with my skin.  I can enhance my outfit with some bling that doesn’t leave a rash.

I have even started making my own fashion pins from leftover fabric.

The way I see it, my obsession with secondhand brooches is a win-win-win scenario. My purchase helps the thrift store and gives a new home to an amazing piece while adding bling to my outfit.

20170508_190448Win. Win. Win.

Do you have a brooch with special meaning? Have you found a gem at your local thrift store? Tell me about it!