Kate McFadden of Custom in Charlotte, N.C., Explains Her Intentional Irreverence

Custom’s saucy promotional style belies its serious focus on the craft of jewelry-making“We are jewelry badasses.” This cheeky proclamation, part of a longer and no-less-irreverent manifesto, is spelled out on Custom’s website. It’s an apt description of the “bitchin’ little family jewelry lab” (also from the manifesto) in ­Charlotte, N.C., and its owners, Lee Lally and Kate McFadden. The ­husband-and-wife team opened the retail store/design atelier, which specializes in custom-made jewelry and reworked vintage and antique pieces, in 2010 to meld their affections for Old World craftsmanship and modern, offbeat aesthetics. The shop’s designs are as sharply rendered as the in-your-face promotional verbiage. The irreverence is intentional. “We get a lot of people who have had intimidating experiences in other places and aren’t looking for a glass of Champagne and ­m

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