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BLUGRASS BEST } Lulubelles & Beaus

By Rachel Carter

Cousins Gretchen Black and Natalie Gerlack, both from Louisville, Kentucky, grew up in a family of creative and crafting women. That heritage led them to create Lulubelles, their line of chic, custom jewelry made from new, vintage and one-of-a-kind finds.

The ladies’ large, extended family is also the reason behind their Valentine’s Day tradition. Every year, ever since they were little, Gretchen and Natalie attend a Valentine’s Day party at their Granny’s home. All their cousins — and now their cousins’ children — gather to exchange handmade Valentine cards and treats and “have a wonderful time celebrating our love for one another.”

Beaus, you may want to take your cue from Lulubelles this Valentine’s Day, just in case that handmade Valentine card you crafted (ahem) isn’t quite what she was expecting.

Jewelry is usually a safe bet, but you can make it a sure thing by selecting something that fits your Valentine’s style. You don’t want to buy her heavy, dangly earrings if she tends to wear small studs. Think back to what she wears most often; if you don’t remember, maybe do a little reconnaissance in her jewelry stash. What type of jewelry does your beloved usually wear? Your sweetheart may wear sleek and simple necklaces. Maybe she favors fun and funky statement pieces. Or perhaps she likes her strands sweetly sophisticated.

Gretchen and Natalie selected three of their favorite Lulubelles necklaces to give beaus some ideas about what to get their Valentines — and a better idea about how to decide.

1} BOWTIEThis fun, feminine bow tie necklace is a modern twist on traditional menswear. It would make a perfect gift for the lady who likes to keep it sleek but still stand out.

2} LaPOINTE Chunky and funky, the LaPointe necklace makes a statement among “statement pieces.” If your sophisti-funky lady likes to be different from everyone else in the room, this piece promises to set her apart in the best possible way.

3} RIBBON NECKLACE { NEW SPRING COLORS } ~ A classic strand of pearls is always sophisticated, but a pretty ribbon and a flash of vintage sparkle make this necklace an oh-so-sweet gift for the woman who likes a touch of romance.

Bowtie Necklace

LaPointe Necklace

Ribbon Necklace

ANTHROPOLOGIE + LULUBELLES = HOW TO MAKE A CHARM BRACELET: Join the ladies of Lulubelles on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Anthropologie store in Cincinnati as they lead a class on how to make a charm bracelet out of vintage charms and buttons (including your own special tchotchkes and family heirlooms). Space is limited so call the store at 513-793-6000 to reserve your spot.

Jaimeson - January 31, 2013 - 2:35 pm

Absolutely LOVE this … the jewelry and the illustrations! How fun would it be to work on a project together!

donia - January 31, 2013 - 3:09 pm

Jaimeson, I would absolutely love to work on a project together! Give me a call and we will plan some loveliness. I am so full of ideas right now. Having my new blog up has really sparked my creativity and I am so excited about 2013!

Lulubelles has some amazing pieces and their styling is right up my alley!

Gretchen - February 1, 2013 - 1:00 am

Wonderful blog post! Thanks so much for including us, we really appreciate it! XO

Natalie Gerlack - February 1, 2013 - 2:41 am

What an adorable post!! I LOVE your illustrations! That bowtie needs to be framed…too cute. Thanks so much!
xo! Natalie

BLESSED } Southern Charm — Always a Great Feature!

Southern charm with all its graces remains forever fashionable and this wedding proves it!

Katie and Rich’s gem of a Kentucky wedding is getting glowing reviews! On top of being chosen as a Kentucky Bride Magazine Real Kentucky Wedding,  it is being featured by Wedding Row Kentucky today. Enjoy all the lovely Southern details captured by the talented Vidyuta Rangnekar of Five by Five Photography.

KATIE & RICH { Spindletop Hall }



1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter.  2) Summer starts in April.  3) Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable.  4) Front porches are wide and words are long.
5) Pecan pie is a staple. 
 6) Y’all is the only proper noun.  7) Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy.  8) Everything is Darlin’.
9) Someone’s heart is always being blessed.

Photo by Five by Five Photography

BLESSED } Twice as Nice

I was grinning from ear to ear last Sunday when I clapped eyes on my winter issue of Kentucky Bride magazine. It was waiting at my booth when I arrived at the How Charming Bridal Show in the Keeneland Clubhouse last Sunday. I couldn’t wait to take a peek inside. The talented  of Five by Five Photography and myself had been anticipating it’s arrival when we heard the sweetly southern Mayo-Watson wedding had been selected as a Real Kentucky Wedding feature!

I had the great privilege of working with the darling Katie and Katie’s sweet-as-pie mother on all their lovely paper needs for this Southern jewell of a wedding. Vidyuta captured their day so beautifully!

I poured over every detail in the minutes before all those lovely brides began arriving to the show and then … SURPRISE! A few pages later I got to relish the natural beauty of Ashley Kate and Andy’s Natural Bridge State Park wedding. Their amazing photos were shot by the artistic Mary and Gabe of Honey Heart Photography.  I was so fortunate to get to work with the dear Ashley-Kate and Andy on their invitation suite. Ashley-Kate is as kind as they come!

I was genuinely surprised by the additional feature and have to say that for The Blu Sash, the Kentucky Bride Winter issue was … twice as nice!

[ A special thank you to Kentucky Bride for featuring two Blu Sash weddings and to Five by Five Photography and Honey Heart Photography for making a moment in time stand still with the photos you capture of each day! ]


Ashley Kate - January 22, 2013 - 8:38 pm


We’re so thrilled to be featured in Kentucky Bride Magazine, and we couldn’t have gotten there without all of your help! Thanks so much for creating our dream Invitation Suite! Our guests were blown away, and most importantly, the Suite set the tone for the entire wedding! Much love and many hugs to you!

Ashley Kate

Welcome to the new year and our new website!

Well we are off to the races this year. After spending a whirl wind dream vacation at Disney world with my sweet family I am preparing for the How Charming Bridal Show this weekend and posting on my new blog and website. I can’t wait for what 2013 brings!

I hope we can create an invitation you’ll love!


Donia Simmons


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