This past summer, Stefanie Wolf moved her shop from a second-floor space in Edgartown to a storefront on Circuit Ave., and the move has proven to be a rewarding one, giving the jewelry designer more visibility and easier access for her customers.
Wolf has been making and selling jewelry for 15-plus years, and has earned a faithful following across the country. However, there’s a lot more than Wolf’s unique beaded jewelry to be found at the Oak Bluffs shop. The new, bright, welcoming space next to the Black Dog is laden with handmade gifts — including items for men, women, and children. Of course the designer’s jewelry is always a big draw, and Wolf is constantly adding new designs featuring beads from far-flung places.
If you’ve forgotten someone on your Christmas list and don’t have time to shop in person, Wolf even offers complimentary hand-delivery service to anywhere on the Island. You can pick a gift online and have it wrapped (if you choose) and delivered to your door, or directly to the gift recipient.
But you really want to stop by the shop if possible. Even in the midst of Circuit Ave. construction, the jewelry and gift boutique will remain open seven days a week, and if you’ve tried to avoid the summer crowds, now is the time for a visit.
Wolf has been creating and selling her line of colorful beaded jewelry ever since she left the corporate world and moved to Martha’s Vineyard full-time in 2004. Starting out in a small studio on Dukes County Ave. in Oak Bluffs, Wolf now employs six local women to make all her designs, which are sold at more than 80 stores and galleries nationwide. Her signature trilogy series has garnered a huge following. (Gwen Ifill even once sported a multi-strand necklace on national TV.)
The latest addition to the Stefanie Wolf collection is a line of adjustable chain-slide bracelets featuring your choice of sea glass, a rainbow spray of tiny beads, or fun carved glass bead options such as a flower, nautilus shell, or mini Buddha. The simple sterling silver chain design includes a little silver ball which you can slide to accommodate any wrist size.
Although known for her colorful glass beads (many of which, including the popular Picasso Window glass version, are imported from the Czech Republic), Wolf has recently started working with freshwater pearls in a variety of surprising colors like celery and mauve, as well as classic white.
The designer also works with delicate gold- and silver-plated leaf-shaped beads, carved wooden cabochons and a custom glass tile bead, made exclusively in the Czech Republic for the designer, with the outline of the Vineyard.
Wolf has a wonderful eye for new and unusual beads and unique designs. “I like to create jewelry that can show your personality and add a little pop of color to your ensemble,” she says. “They’re kind of statement pieces that complete an outfit without you having to spend a lot.”
Along with her bounty of jewelry options, Wolf is also happy to be able to offer work by a handful of local artists in her new, larger space.
One of the shop’s best sellers is a line of little keepsake bowls by Helayne Cohen. Each round or heart-shape dish features one of the custom MV glass beads incorporated in the kiln firing process. Cohen also makes larger platters with the same process. Wolf also offers a cool line of small dishes made from oyster shells decorated with decoupage designs from a woman-owned business in South Carolina.
Speaking of oysters, one of the newest additions to the store is a series of gilded oyster shell ornaments by local artist Tim Ellis of He Sells Seashells, featuring tiny Vineyard maps or Island images adorning the interior.
Other locally made products include candles, soaps, and hand sanitizers by Vineyard Wick and Bath, M.V. Sea Salt, and Ingrid Goff-Maidoff’s charming inspirational hand-sewn books, handmade paper matchbook gift packages, and little blessing bundles, which offer a great way to gift something really personal in a small, affordable package.
Among the multitude of other gift options in the store (and available online) are cashmere ponchos, whimsical women’s socks, Island-themed trays, stickers, and tea towels, Turkish towels, leather purses, canvas totes and travel pouches, kids’ gifts, and much more. Wolf focuses on offering items from U.S.-based craftspeople and small artisan cooperatives and companies.
Since giving up on a corporate career to focus full-time on jewelry design, Wolf has grown her business exponentially, while returning to an early passion. “When I was a little kid, I was obsessed with collecting rocks from the local rock shop,” she says. Now her passion for art and design has blossomed into a burgeoning business and, with her new location, she has really found a niche on the Island. “I love it here,” she says. “I’m so happy to be right on street level. I didn’t have much visibility. It’s really night and day. Circuit Ave. is a really special place, and everyone has been so welcoming.”
Stefanie Wolf Designs studio and retail shop, located at 37 Circuit Ave., is open daily (except Christmas Day). Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5, Sunday 11 to 5. You can also order online at stefaniewolf.com and take advantage of home delivery or curbside pickup, as well as standard delivery.