What’s Old Is New for Cara Brown Designs

A love for jewelry, history, and mementos led Cara Brown to her greatest passion—preserving memories in a fresh new way for the next generation.

Cara Brown’s earliest creative endeavor was crafting intricately-designed Christmas ornaments out of vintage beads and jewelry. She later began making necklaces out of relics such as old coins, 1920s belt buckles, and English horse brass. “You don’t always have to use things as they were originally intended,” Cara says. “I like to make my own rules.” The handcrafted designs combine found objects with hand-knotted, semi-precious, or antique beads. “I look for statement pieces that tell a story and can start a conversation,” she says. “The designs look equally good with a T-shirt or black tie.”

Horse brass jewelry designed by Cara Brown
An English horse brass necklace designed by Cara Brown.

Cara Brown Designs makes more than the jewelry collection. Cara is also the founder of LifeJacket™, a line of vintage tweed blazers upcycled and embellished to tell the wearer’s personal story. The jackets are adorned with patches, embroidery, and a Bible verse—representations of significant life moments. “It’s like a grown-up letter jacket for women,” she says. Each design is personally developed by Cara through one-on-one consultation, custom tailoring, and hand embroidery in order to tell a person’s unique story. Her own LifeJacket, a vintage Ralph Lauren tweed, features patches and embroidery that symbolize her children and her home state of Texas. It also includes a verse (Romans 8:28) and Cara’s wedding date. As she likes to say, “Life goes by fast. Jacket required.”

Don’t miss seeing Cara Brown’s historic farmhouse Christmas.

By Cathy Still McGowin | Photography by Tria Giovan

To see more of Cara Brown’s designs, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.  Phone: 609.730.0506