Happy Throwback Thursday! Today we are looking back at our lovely vendor tour Puttin’ on the Glitz.

Down a lovely side street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the sweet gem Puttin’ on the Glitz which caters to the sophisticated bride looking to embellish her wedding day and wedding party wardrobe with tasteful baubles. Stop in or schedule an appointment with the enchanting owner Assiah Russell and enjoy the process of finding your unique keepsakes.
Puttin on the Gltz and owner Assiah<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Tell us a little about you, your background and the history of Puttin’ on the Glitz.

GLITZ: Puttin’ on the Glitz is the tiniest shop in downtown Portsmouth, a jewel in itself is located on the corner of State and Washington Street, nestled between Strawberry Banke and Prescott Park. We carry jewels for every day and every occasion, hats and fashion accessories.

As a child growing up on a large dairy farm in rural New Hampshire, I would eagerly await the arrival of the Sears Wish Book.  Pouring over the “fashion” photographs, I yearned  to grow up, travel to well-lit and exciting cities and be part of the fashion world.  I studied Fashion Merchandising and modeling in Boston.  I did travel, and ended up making jewelry in  Florence, Italy, and creating a women’s collective in Jamaica making soft jewels from fabrics and beads. Then, as happens with many artists, real life seemed to call, and I spent a decade each working in women’s health and with people living with HIV/AIDS.  Fast forward: on a trip to New York City, I got lost only to find myself in the wholesale jewelry district.  It was then the seed began to sprout. Persuading a vendor to sell me some jewelry, even though I had no business tax ID, I returned home and found an immediate response to my selections.  Sitting atop New York’s Beekman Tower Hotel the following New Year’s Eve, having a libation, I had the idea to start a business, and the name, “Puttin’ on the Glitz” came spilling right out. I sold my distinctive jewels through home parties and out of my summer dining room for the first couple of years. In 2005 I opened the shop on State Street in Portsmouth, NH.

interior of the shop<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Describe the range of jewels and accessories that you offer. What is the bulk of your business?

GLITZ: Puttin’ on the Glitz offers a large selection of designer fashion jewelry. Collections are mostly from the US, but include Canada, England, Israel, Germany, Nepal to name a few. There are contemporary pieces and much of it with a nod to a vintage style. In our tiny shop, we offer more than 30 lines of jewelry and accessories.  There are jewels for every day – daily jewels as we call them, as well as jewels for every special occasion. We have a lovely collection of vintage beaded purses from the 1920s to 1970s, travel and overnight bags, and everyday handbags. We carry scarves, gloves, and, in the past two years we’ve added an enormous hat collection.

L: emilie inc. photography; R: courtesy Stephanie Robb Designs

L&L: Jewelry can sometimes considered be considered a luxury or splurge item on a bride’s budget. How would you reply to this statement?

GLITZ: Jewelry should reflect the soul of the woman wearing it and accessories are the final touch for every bride. It is that which truly shows a woman’s uniqueness and her sense of beauty. While many brides will spend $200 or $250 for custom-designed fresh-water pearls or crystals, we have pieces to fit every budget. Bridal jewelry need not be a budget-buster by any means.

L&L: You have so many beautiful items in your store. What is your favorite part of the shop?

GLITZ: My passion is in helping a woman to find that her own unique sense of style. My business is making women look beautiful. I simply love working with a woman to find just the right piece. Often we will try on six or eight necklaces, and then all of a sudden it becomes quite clear what is just perfect for her. Generally, we both will know it at the same time. I also adore fitting women to hats. Women often say they can’t wear hats.  There is an old adage ‎saying “you don’t look good in a hat is like saying you don’t look good in shoes!” There is a hat for every woman. It just takes a little time and expertise to tease out what style works best for each individual.

courtesy photo<br><a href=http://www.puttinontheglitznh.com target=_blank>Puttin on the Glitz</a>

L&L: Should a bride schedule an appointment or just stop by to find the perfect piece for their wedding?

GLITZ: Many brides stop in and have a first look, and then book an appointment to come back when we can spend some time together. They will bring in photographs of their gowns, as well as their bridesmaids and mothers. We’ll even schedule a private evening in the shop so they can bring their entire wedding party in to find just the right pieces.

courtesy photo<br><a href=http://www.sorrelli.com target=_blank>Sorrelli Jewelry</a>

L&L: Do you ever place special orders for your brides if necessary?

GLITZ: We almost always end up doing special orders for brides. We work with an artist, Stephanie Robb, from New York, who specializes in custom designed jewelry. Her work is one-of-a-kind, high-quality craftsmanship, using gold, silver, fresh-water and South Sea pearls, crystals, and natural stones. Generally, we will show some of her work to a bride and it will generate some ideas, twists and turns to create a piece that is unique and suited to the brides own look and gown. Working with Stephanie is also very quick and most affordable. We have been able to accommodate a bride’s special needs in less than two weeks, as in one case, when the bride left her jewels until the last minute!

L: Stephanie Robb Designs; R: Sorrelli Jewelry

L&L: How do most of your clients find you?

GLITZ: Clients find us online, at local bridal shows, and through referrals from trades people in the wedding industry. We often will see brides who attended someone else’s wedding as a guest, and loved the brides jewelry.

L&L: What was the most memorable wedding you have worked and why?

GLITZ: Often, a bride is nervous about attending to every little tiny detail. One time, however, a bride came in who was so very relaxed about her wedding, that I still remember her. She was looking for something to wear to her rehearsal dinner. I asked her first what she was wearing, and then when the dinner was, to which she replied that very evening! As it turned out, we found a gorgeous long lariat made of hand-crafted glass leaves, and after the wedding, two of her friends came in and each ordered one for themselves.

white floral necklace<br><a href=http://www.puttinontheglitznh.com target=_blank>Nakamol</a>

L&L: What “must-see” places and eateries do you suggest folks from out of town check out while visiting Maine/coastal New Hampshire?

GLITZ: One simply cannot leave New England without spending at least three days in Portsmouth. The city, set on a river to the sea, is great for strolling, full of art, history, gorgeous architecture, and great eating.  Maine’s seacoast from Portsmouth, NH, all the way up to Southwest and Bass Harbor is among my most favorite places in the world. I could not live without walking Ogunquit Beach several times each summer. Oysters at Robert’s Grill in Kittery, Maine, are always fresh, varied, and a treat. If in Downeast Maine, popovers and tea at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park is a favorite after a long walk through the verdant park. The XYZ Restaurant in Manset, Maine, offers the most authentic Mexican fare and margaritas with fresh-squeezed limes.

L: Joia de Majorca pearls; R: Lucoral pearls

L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into Puttin’ on the Glitz. If readers want to get in touch with you to inquire about your availability, what is the best way for them to reach you?

GLITZ: We are open daily and you can find us at 150 State Street in Portsmouth, NH. Give us a call at 603.436.5600 or visit us online at www.puttinontheglitzNH.com or on Facebook.

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