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Adornments By Daws: an undergrad’s foray into fashion

Dawson Buettner, a rising senior at Ole Miss, is making her mark in repurposed designer fashion.

After seeing her friends wearing jewelry with vintage fixtures from haute couture labels such as Chanel, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent, and seeing the price tags that accompanied such pieces, Buettner said she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

Earrings made by Dawson Buettner, in Oxford, Miss. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle via AP)

“I’ve always had a knack for creativity, and making jewelry is something I did even in middle school and high school,” Buettner said. “What actually got me back into it again was that I saw a pair of earrings at [a boutique in Oxford] and they were these beautiful reused Chanel. I went back so many times to look at them, but they were $150. I thought, ‘This is not priced for college kids, so why don’t I try to make something like that?’”

Thus, Buettner’s business, Adornments By Daws, was born. All of the pieces in her collection are $50 or less, and each custom piece is handmade.

To get around the obstacle of couture price tags, Buettner said, she began shopping on Etsy and Poshmark, where she found buttons from her favorite designers. By using buttons as the base for her pieces instead of beads, Buettner is able to offer a more price-savvy product with high-quality workmanship, she said.

“It’s so important to me, because as a college kid, there’s such a trend for designer merchandise,” she said. “I use buttons, and they’re coming off these beautiful Chanel jackets or pantsuits. They’re so ornate, and very classy looking, so it makes for a really nice piece.”

Making a pair of earrings takes around an hour, Buettner said. The more intricate the design, she said, the longer it will take. To fasten the buttons to the body of the earrings, she uses epoxy. Buettner is also in the process of learning how to solder pieces, which she said will look even more professional.

Playing on current trends and the formality of the labels used, each of Buettner’s unique pieces features a chandelier-inspired element, with beaded and string tassel accents.

Art painted by Dawson Buettner, in Oxford, Miss. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle via AP)

In addition to earrings, Buettner also creates tie bracelets and watercolor portraits. A portion of the proceeds from the watercolors, which she said are her first passion, will be donated to a local charity as a way to give good back to the community.

When she’s not making jewelry, Buettner said she can be found studying for dental school and hanging out with her Delta Gamma sisters. While it may seem as though jewelry making and dentistry don’t have much in common, she said that’s not the case.

“This stuff really relates to dentistry – the creative aspect, the dexterity needed, the attention to detail,” she said. “It has just further enhanced my passion for dentistry and for art, finding a way to merge the two. The more I spend time in dental offices, the more I see the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into it.”

While Adornments By Daws is a new business, Buettner said she’s already received a good response from customers.

In the future, Buettner said she’d like to host trunk shows with her pieces, as well as participate in local arts markets. Her dream goal, however, is having an Adornments By Daws booth at Double Decker.

“I’ve sold five or six pieces already, in the last month alone,” Buettner said. “I think it just goes to show that there is a market for people who want these types of goods, but don’t want to pay outrageous sums of money for them.”

Currently, Adornments By Daws is available exclusively through Instagram. Adornments by Daws accepts payment via cash, check or Venmo. Those interested in shopping or ordering one of Buettner’s pieces can do so by sending a direct message to @adornments_by_daws, or emailing adornmentsbydaws@gmail.com.