EDWARDSVILLE - Six years ago Kenneathia Williams brought her passion for “re-loving” leather and making jewelry to Edwardsville and last week she celebrated the opening of her new store, Sour Mash, at 116 North Main Street in Edwardsville.

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“Six years ago I started making bracelets out of old leather belts and have been a vintage jewelry collector since I was nine,” Williams said. “I married the two, came up with a product that people really liked and they’re all unique one of a kind pieces.”

Creating her Instagram account, Reloved Leather, had a major impact on Williams’ jewelry when it was noticed by Nashville musician Erica Sunshine Lee.

“In the last two years we got on Instagram and it changed our world completely. Erica Sunshine Lee was the first discover us on Instagram and I’ve been designing for her for almost three years now,” Williams said. “We’re designing for over 50 musicians and artists now. We were just at the GBK’s Golden Globes gifting suit last month. Out of 14 designers we were chosen to be in the swag bag and at the gifting lounge.”

Being able to design for musicians and even film directors has garnered Williams some attention resulting in her handmade pieces being featured in 17 music videos, a major motion picture and three red carpet events.

In addition to designing jewelry, Williams has also worked as a t-shirt graphic and apparel designer for the last 25 years.

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“We’ve outgrown our home studio and decided it was time to actually find a home for both the apparel side and the jewelry side of what I do,” Williams said.

Williams said she has a love for turning old things into new things, which is how she came up with the name Sour Mash for the boutique.

“I do more than just the repurposing of the old leather belts and jewelry, I do a little bit of old and a little bit new, like sour mash bourbon,” she said.

Sour Mash carries more than Williams’ handmade jewelry. The store is filled with other locally made products such as signs from local metalwork artist Lexy Schlemer, hand-painted signs from a local artist and Illinois barn wood sings.

“I’d say probably close to 90 percent of what is in the store is either designed by me or by someone I know personally. “I want to see people support local small business and artists I like to see them support more local and hard-working artists that they can actually get to know. These artists are doing this right here in our town.”

There are still some big plans ahead for Sour Mash with an official grand opening set for April. For more information on Sour Mash visit their website SourMashBoutique.com, on Facebook or on Instagram at Reloved Leather.

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