Dusting off the past and tugging it into the present has always come naturally for JJ Matchett. The Atlanta native got her start in vintage at a young age and made a name for herself digging up incredible silk dresses and lucite heels for her biz, Machete. But after having kids (and launching a super successful macaron-baking sideline), JJ took a short break from buying and re-selling—and then had an epiphany during a chance encounter with fellow found-things maven and silversmith Ariana Boussard-Reifel on a visit to Brooklyn. “I bought these incredible swan earrings from her that reminded me of Björk in the nineties, and she told me about her own story of becoming a hands-on jeweler,” JJ recalled. “I changed whole my perspective, and I realized I was more of a maker than a collector.”
Back home, JJ looked at her collection of sixties, early seventies, and eighties accessories—and she realized that tortoiseshell was waaay overdue for comeback. As she says, “It was just about modernizing the form. I wanted to create pieces I would wear myself.” Turns out, a lot of people want to dress like JJ because her namesake line of elongated hoops, disk earrings, and round hairpins in a slew of neutral tortoise hues instantly took off. Sometimes slow and steady is overrated, ya know?