City Pulse

By Deena Campbell

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In the spring of 2008, Marie Jean Baptiste stumbled upon something in her Brooklyn neighborhood that changed her life – a going out of business fabric and yarn store. Marie immediately took advantage of the deeply discounted merchandise and purchased tons of yarn. “When I finally got home, I didn’t know what I wanted to make,” said Marie. “I just wrapped the colorful yarn around some earrings and things just started coming together.”

A few months and ideas later, Marie birthed Funky Lobes, a jewelry line filled with handcrafted yarn earrings, bangles and necklaces. Exploring new colors and fashion trends are important to Marie, and since her debut last year, she has upgraded to imported yarns from Italy.

Within her jewelry collection you’ll find an array of multi-shaped pieces daunting gorgeous palettes. Although the pieces are easy on the eyes, the process for making the jewelry is no easy task. Aside from using her strength to tightly wrap the yarn, Marie uses three glues for binding purposes. “It’s a long process,” says Marie. But it’s a task she embraces.

“There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on new outfits when you can spice up your already owned pieces with one of our fabulous pieces,” said Marie.

So what’s up next for the fashionable gal? Marie is planning to create a collection of yarn handbags and provide a small collection of vintage dresses for Marie’s Closet, a clothing rental boutique for industry professionals – another endeavor Marie has up her sleeve.

Funky Lobes retail anywhere from $15 to $55 and can be found in Pieces and Kiini Ibura boutiques or online at http://www.funkylobes.com.

Originally published February 2009

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