By Megan M. Seckman

It took having a baby for Katie Judah, 38, to slow down enough to find her passion.

After the birth of her daughter, Miriam, now 10, Katie found herself looking for something to do while her infant napped. She began the quiet hobby of jewelry making, which she hadn’t done since her high school days. After stockpiling hordes of necklaces and earrings, she decided to start selling.

“I kept giving my jewelry to my mom, so when she started saying, ‘Oh, thanks, honey’ with wide eyes because I’d already given her so much stuff, I knew I needed an Etsy shop,” Katie explains. After selling on Etsy for a while, an old friend from her Centre College days connected Katie with Mary Levinsky, proprietor of Block Party Handmade Boutique and local mask-making artist. Block Party Handmade Boutique is an artist co-op: artists volunteer to work in the store for eight hours per month and in turn receive a higher percentage of the sales. It also teaches artists the retail and merchandising aspect of the business.

“I applied to be featured in the shop and got in about three years ago but continued to work my job at the bank.” After time, though, Katie decided to leave her position at the bank, because she was burned out and wanted to do something more creative. She took the leap and called Mary to ask if she had any advice. It just so happened, Mary was looking to open a second location on Frankfort Avenue and needed someone to run the store. It was fate. For a year and a half, the two women have been running the two locations (2916 Frankfort Ave. and 560 S. 4th St.) together and have become fast friends and synchronistic business associates.

“I train new artists, help them get set-up, and handle the retail and operations of the store. It is incredibly positive — everyone is always in a good mood — it’s a wonderful environment to work in every day. It may not be less stress than the bank, but I’m so happy.”

Katie makes jewelry under the name of Adelle Rose, the middle names of her two daughters, and she has again taken to collecting jewelry now that she is surrounded by a constant flow of creative pieces. “I’m a jewelry junkie!” Katie proclaims.

Bright colors and bold statement pieces are staples of Katie’s wardrobe.
Photos by Sunni Wigginton

Each day, before this jewelry junkie makes her way to her dream job, she is able to get her daughters off to school, spend time sipping coffee and making jewelry in her craft room, and of course, before she walks out the door, there’s always time to accessorize.

Latest Purchase She’s Praising
Katie recently bought a pair of necklaces made out of fused glass from the store: one for her and one for her sister.

Products She Swears By
“I have bleached hair, so I have to take great care of it. I use the Eufora line with the volumizing conditioner, shampoo, and hairspray every day.

“I’m not super loyal to makeup lines, but I love my MAC Jungle Red lipstick.”

Fashion She’s Wearing
“Mostly, I wear what I purchase from the store. All the clothes are made in the U.S. and are ethically made, so I feel good about these purchases. I tend to wear a lot of bold-colored dresses with boots. I like to have a classic silhouette.”

Katie never leaves home without her wedding ring set, which is her only constant when it comes to accessorizing. Everything else changes daily. “I’m not a minimalist at all — nothing is minimalist about my style.” She especially likes big statement rings and earrings.

“I always wear earrings. My mom told me when I was young that you should never leave your holes naked,” she says with a laugh, “so I never go out without three sets of earrings because I have three holes on each ear. That stuck with me.”