Throughout our lives, we realize there are just some things you can’t part with. Namely, grandpa’s cufflinks or great Aunt Ida’s earrings. Renee Huff, owner of Jeweled Legacy, understands. Her life path has brought her to be the curator of happiness, love and unique jewelry!
“You have to wind the clock back a fair piece to get to the real beginning. My great grandmother died the year I was born, but Granddad told me stories about her and their life together,” Huff says. “These stories were always hung on an item. He would take a necklace out of her jewelry box and tell us a story about what they had done while she was wearing it, or the occasion she had gotten it for. Granddad had lived a very interesting life. There were baked clay marbles he traded with the Indian children wintering in the back pasture and a hatchet from Carrie Nation, his uniform from when he was an infantry man in WW1. Reading between the lines I've come to realize he raised hell and wheat in equal measure. Thanks to him I could never look at a piece of jewelry without wondering where it had been, what it had witnessed. I love to restore old jewelry so that it can continue to be part of those family stories.”
Huff worked at Jewelry Box Antiques shortly after getting out of school. The store carried vintage and antique jewelry, which is different to work on. She received as much of an education from those jewelers as she did in school, and says, “Antiques have their own structural quirks and previous work done that add their own challenges to the work they brought the piece in for.”
After the store closed, she worked at a variety of jewelry stores, none of which worked on antiques or costume jewelry. That is when she decided to open her own store, which will celebrate 10 years in April. They sell, repair and modify jewelry—from vintage brooches to antique wedding bands and beyond—and also repair watches.
Valentine’s Day would be an ideal time to visit them. “Wear the love!” she says. “Restore Grandma’s ring. Make Dad's tie tack into a pendant.”
A visit to the shop is a step back in time, from the carved coral piece that began as a bodice jewel from the 1760s to the sweetheart jewelry of WWII. She believes there is no price on emotion, and every piece of jewelry brought in is a part of someone’s story and will be treated with respect.
Jeweled Legacy is located at 7410 Neiman Road, Shawnee, KS 66203. Call them at 913-278-1950. Visit jeweledlegacy.com.