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I’m a hard person to shop for
On Leigh’s holiday wish list: A one-of-a-kind bracelet designed by San Antonio artist Amanda Macedo.
I’m a hard person to shop for. I have fussy tastes and a host of fitting quirks that ensure the words “size 6” mean nothing. Despite my love for clothes, to prevent any more trips to the returns desk or the tailor, everyone’s given up on surprising me with anything for my closet. Luckily the jewelry box is still an option, since I’ve fallen in love with local designer Amanda Macedo’s modern, asymmetrical necklaces.

So who’s the woman behind the long, funky, dark-wood and gold-loop chain that’s been my summer staple? Macedo was living in Austin when she first started making jewelry — her inspiration was a beautiful strand of faceted turquoise beads she saw at Nomadic Notions. When she and her husband moved back to San Antonio, Macedo decided to start selling her work.

“I feel really lucky because an opportunity just fell into my lap. I was introduced to a friend of a friend, Margaret Walker, the owner of Wren,” recalls Macedo. “She commented on the necklace I was wearing `which I had made` and she offered to have a trunk show for me at her store.” That was in April 2004 and Wren was soon carrying Macedo’s jewelry.

Macedo’s pieces are also sold at Cork in San Antonio and at Parkhill’s Jewelry and Gifts in Fort Worth. She also hosts jewelry parties and gives special showings, which can be booked through And she’s sold out her booth stock at the King William Fair for the past two years.

Each of Macedo’s designs are hand-crafted and she rarely duplicates a piece. Rather than sketch a project beforehand, she buys stones and beads she loves, like pyrite and goldstone, and lets them speak to her. “My husband Marlos is my unofficial ‘design consultant,’” says Macedo. “I always ask him his opinion while I’m making jewelry. He gives great feedback!”

One of Macedo’s signature pieces is a heavy cluster of jewels suspended from a delicate, short chain, a contrast that’s affordable yet luxurious-looking. But I’m especially fond of the choker-length pieces with the largest stone set off-center, a fresh update of the prim ’60s pearls-and-brooch combination. Macedo also designs delicate, swooping earrings, and although she doesn’t sell sets since each piece is individual, she probably would take the request.

What’s Macedo planning for fall and winter? “Experience has taught me that trends are what sell, so I try to stay on top of the current trends and design with them in mind. I love to work with gold chains — I actually use 14k-gold-filled chain and some gold-plated — and I am excited about designing the season’s long chain necklaces mixed with beads. Anything with a gold chain feels so glamorous.”

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