Bangles for Days
What started as a side hobby quickly became a successful business for one local designer whose Jules Jewels bracelets have become a trend for both collecting and gift giving.
By Colin Shea Denniston
It was never part of Julia Evans’ plan to break into the jewelry business. She is a wife, mother, Springfield-based physical therapist specializing in lymphedema and cancer rehab and an accidental jewelry designer.
Like many others last fall, Evans found herself quarantined to her basement for 10 days due to COVID-19. With the constant news cycle taking a toll on her well-being, Evans ordered some beads and began making bracelets. “Making the bracelets was kind of a way to turn off the TV at night and get distracted from all of the COVID madness that was going on,” Evans says.
Early versions of Evans’ bracelets were heishi designs with words like “survivor” and “warrior” that she would give to her patients at the hospital. She noticed the positive impact they had on those patients and gradually her reach began to expand. By the holiday season, Evans found herself making bracelets for friends to give one-of-a-kind gifts. “I kind of figured that would be the end of my bracelet making. I figured that would be it and it would be over,” Evans says.
But Evans kept designing, and in 2021 she began working with her now-signature large, colorful acrylic beads. “Once people started getting out more and socializing again, slowly that acrylic trend kind of just took off here,” she says. “Especially with lake season, the fact that they were waterproof just kind of made it a little more fun. You can pick and choose your color, and it doesn’t matter if they get wet.”
It wasn’t long before Evans’ designs caught the eye of friend and buyer at Springfield boutique STAXX, Tara Hamilton. With the backing of STAXX, the bracelets took off. Now Jules Jewels can be found at several 417-land shops including LUK Boutique in Nixa and June & Beyond Boutique in Lebanon. Evans still takes custom requests through direct messages on her Instagram account and has recently seen a surge in school- and team-themed stacks, perfect for football season.
Despite her rapid success, Evans continues to work as a physical therapist. “It’s really just blown my mind how much people love them. I’m just a mom using this as a way to decompress at night,” she says.
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