Treasured Jewels

Lisa Cortese has a background in interior design, but her jewelry business grew out of her love of travel. Wherever she and husband Skip went, Lisa hunted for weathered and worn gems, watches and even sports medals, which she reconfigured. When the couple moved to Dauphin Island six years ago, she decided to “get serious” about her pastime and began her line, Modern Vintage Jewelry by L.

Her home studio provides plenty of impetus to her creativity. Mermaids — in paintings, sculpture and even murals — flap seductively from every cranny of her stunning waterfront home, serving as inspiration. Why mermaids? “They’re unique. They’re girly and feminine, whereas so much that’s nautical is not.”

A glance at Lisa’s Facebook page shows the range of her creativity. Her recently crafted works include a mixed-media necklace featuring an old-time watch, a chunky rhinestone cuff bracelet, and a convertible necklace with a center section that can be worn separately. Glass pearls, Swarovski crystals and other sparkly things are the contemporary part of the mix. “When someone wears one of my pieces, she isn’t going to see anyone else wearing the same thing.”

For weddings, she crafts intriquing pieces from the client’s own jewelry. “Brides especially love the custom-made works, ” she says.

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Lisa’s line is available at Mack ’n’ DD’s Emporium on Dauphin Island and online at, and Find an array of styles, just in time for the upcoming Mardi Gras season.  

Mack ’N’ DD’s Emporium
207 LeMoyne Drive, Dauphin Island

Kathie Farnell

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