By ANGELENA CHAPMAN
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN– Two years after dedicating herself to her brand, a local designer is expanding her accessory line and co-opened a new boutique.
Jaclyn Murphy, of North Kingstown, is the designer and creator of Luniac Style, a line of fashion accessories that includes hair accessories, earrings, bangles and more, as well as new higher-end pieces using real Swarovski crystals.
Murphy, who grew up in Cranston, but has made North Kingstown her home for the last six years, started selling her jewelry on Etsy.com, the online “handmade marketplace.” Today, she is the co-owner of Luniac Glamour on Main Street in East Greenwich.
It’s a path two years in the making following a risky decision by Murphy to leave her job as a social worker and become a junior jewelry designer. Initially, the move looked like a bad one as, just two weeks later, she decided it wasn’t a good fit.
“At the time, I thought it was the end of the world,” Murphy said, “I was jobless.”
That “end” was only the beginning.
“That was when I decided I was going to go full-fledged into creating my brand,” she said.
Though “life” forced her away from it for a brief period of time, Murphy feels jewelry was always meant to be her “career.”
“I had always done it. Since I was little,” she said, explaining that she would make jewelry and accessories and sell them on the beach or to her family. “I was always making something.”
Murphy studied English and psychology in college and considered pursuing a path in either writing or teaching. She traveled for a while after college before she “kind of fell into” a job as a social worker.
“I really liked it,” she said, “but it didn’t satisfy my creative side.”
Her husband built her a little office in their home where she would create pieces for friends’ birthday parties, bridal parties and more.
After Murphy went to her day job, she would come home and design and create at night. That is where the name for her brand, Luniac Style, came from. “Luniac,” she said, “means ‘crazy for the moon.’”
Once Murphy put her focus on her brand, she began selling it not just online but at trunk shows that she heard of through “word of mouth” and that helped her begin networking both in person and through the Internet.
“If you do one show, you hear about the other shows,” Murphy said.
They were all “good exposure,” she said, for exploring what her right venue was and her right target.
“My goal last year was to get into StyleWeek,” Murphy said.
StyleWeek Northeast, formerly StyleWeek Providence, takes place twice a year and Murphy has been a part the Accessory Showcase twice, both this past January and August.
Rosanna Ortiz Sinel, the founder and president of StyleWeek, LLC, created it in 2009 “as a platform for emerging fashion designers,” according to their website.
Murphy was able to showcase different styles and pieces at the two events. “It’s hard to always come up with a new idea,” she said, “but I think its good to keep reinventing yourself so you don’t get stale.”
Murphy continues to sell Luniac Style on Etsy, but now also in her new boutique-salon combination. She recently co-opened Luniac Glamour with friend, skin therapist and former owner of Gloss & Glamour Salon in North Providence, Kristen Marrah, of Woonsocket.
The “one-stop-shop” does everything from hair to nails to facials and has a boutique.
The pair wanted a “whole atmosphere that would satisfy everyone,” Murphy said. “We really wanted something for everybody here,” she said.
Everything they sell in Luniac Glamour is by a Rhode Island designer, said Murphy, who is also the merchandiser.
Murphy’s brand is for sale and she continues to work on new pieces, right in the shop. She he and Marrah “thought it would be cool to have me working in here as an artist,” and that it would help “‘bring it home’ that this is a Rhode Island boutique,” she said.
“My brand is very reflective of my personality,” Murphy said, “Most of it is bright and colorful, funky. I try to think of what I would like, what I would wear.”
But she also tells people, “Whatever you wear, if you wear it with confidence it is going to look great on you.”
Her pieces are “made to accentuate” people, she said.
Her pieces are “one of a kind,” and “hard to replicate” so she doesn’t do a lot of wholesale.
With her jewelry and hair accessories, Murphy said she can “customize whatever they want here.”
When Murphy shifted her focus to her brand, she was rewarded to see growth.
Luniac Style includes hair pieces, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more.
Murphy works with lace, fabric, metals, wire and vintage pieces, which she said she likes to mix with new.
Her more high-end line using real Swarovski Crystals, she said, “is more delicate but still a part of Luniac.”
That line is mostly earrings, bangles, necklaces and rings and came about when a Providence company, Merchants Overseas, approached her and asked her to design a line using their crystal beads.
“It was great, it kind of led me into exactly where I want to be,” she said, nothing that she already had the idea to do a higher-end line.
Later this month, Luniac Glamour is going to be a part of the Empower Movement’s StompOut Domestic Violence – A Fashion Show II. They are dressing models and master of ceremonies Kathryn Sotnik of WPRI 12 as a boutique.
The event is Sunday, Oct. 28 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Fete Music in Providence. Tickets are $20 online and are on sale now at www.empowermovement.org .
Luniac Glamour, 37 Main St., East Greenwich, is open Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday and Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reached at 886-GLAM (4526) or online at www.luniacglamour.com . Murphy’s own website is www.luniacstyle.com .
“I really hope to always evolve and come up with new things—things that excite people and make them feel happy when they put them on,” Murphy said, “I am always looking for new ways to do that.”