Handmade: Embrace the allure of E'lur Wrist Designs
You notice him the moment he walks into a room. He's the man with style -- the kind that says, "I've arrived!" He's dapper, sophisticated, and possibly wearing a beaded bracelet, an accessory that, as of late, seems to be popping up on the wrists of smartly dressed men everywhere -- from TV news anchors to actors in Hollywood.
Shawn Rule, the well-dressed man behind E'lur Wrist Designs, is a local jewelry designer and a creator of the popular men's accessory. He started his business in 2015, after not being able to find jewelry that represented his African American heritage with "bold statement pieces."
"I've been to a lot of places in the world. I served in the United States Navy, and I've been to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and our culture as African Americans is pervasive in those places. Their culture is basically derived from our culture," stated the Monroe resident.
"I wasn't seeing anything in the market here that spoke to me culturally, so I decided to start making bracelets and necklaces for myself. I got a lot of compliments, and people wanted to buy the pieces off my person. I was thinking, like wow -- really! Then I started making pieces for family and friends when they requested them. Then they would tell two people, and those people told two more people (and so on)."
A self-taught jewelry maker, Rule, 47, believes more men are embracing beaded bracelets because they don't have a lot to choose from in terms of showing their personal style for accessories.
"When I first got into this, I wanted to make something for men that would be really, really nice," said Rule, who wears either one, or two of his bracelets, everyday. "I sometimes make them as stacks, where one is larger in terms of bead size. You wear the 14 millimeter on the non-watch wrist, and the 12 millimeter on the watch wrist. My best seller is called 'MidKnight Stack.' It's made of gray hematite and onyx beads, and it's a really bold, expressive set.
"I wear French cuffs a lot, and when I wear a watch, people notice the watch first, then they notice the bracelet. The watch draws their focus, but they forget about it after seeing the bracelet," he continued.
"I have a philosophy -- fashion is what's next, but style is perpetual. When a man wears a beaded bracelet, he wants to set himself apart from everyone else. Men have finally caught up with the ladies. They're fashion-forward individuals who are stylish. I cater to individuals who are men among men -- dynamic, chivalrous, worldly and educated. It's almost like we know something that others don't."
Rule's attractive stretch bracelets can be worn to compliment any outfit. He said, "I have one client who's a doctor in Southfield. He has a lot of outfits and clothes, and he accessorizes all of them with E'lur bracelets. I also have some Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, and Kappa Alpha Psi customers who wear them to their events to represent their fraternal brotherhood."
Rule creates his wearable art using natural elements --- Tiger's eye, hematite, onyx, Picasso jasper, ebony wood, obsidian, sterling silver and gold. He said, "I have a bead supplier in Turkey, but if I have something in mind, like the square silver piece with my signature E'lur engraved on it, which is my last name spelled backwards, I have my supplier in India make something like that."
In 1992, before his daughter Barbara was born, his mother, Johnette Rule of Detroit, suggested he name her E’lur. “I didn’t, but it kind of stayed with me,” he recalled.
E'lur Wrist Designs includes five collections -- "Signature Black," "Greek," "Femme," "Heritage" and "Signature." Rule draws his creative spirit from the world around him. "When I'm making a piece, it's centered around something that has spoken to me in a great way!"
E'lur Wrist Designs can be found at City Slicker in downtown Detroit, Puffer Red's in Ypsilanti, Jo's Gallery in Detroit, Cut Masters in Lathrup Village, and on the company's website (elurwristdesigns.com). Prices start at $100, and custom orders are available. Rule recently completed a special request for matching pieces to be worn by a bride and groom at their June wedding.
Rule, who just returned from a two-week family vacation abroad, hopes to grow his business from "grass roots," and "ultimately branch into clothing and more jewelry."
Detroit News columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/DetroitNewsHandmade.
Contact E'lur Wrist Designs at (248) 251-0675, or elurwristdesigns.com. Email: email@example.com.