ACF Jewelry, 111 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, January 2023 (Photo by Heather Ryerson)
(Today’s article is written by guest writer Heather Ryerson)
And it’s one you need to have, even if you don’t know it yet.
Back in September, we announced a move for Caroline Farris to 111 East Jackson Ave. with her growing shop, ACF Jewelry. By October 12, the business was up and running at full speed.
I was treated to a tour of the shop and enjoyed the experience of getting my own Endless Chain with Caroline last week.
As you approach the entrance to 111 East Jackson Ave., you can’t help but notice how unique the building is with tall, black iron gates and tin ceiling in the recessed entry, complete with a call box to enter. There will soon be a hanging sign outside the entry way to find the shop more easily from the street. Caroline’s studio is inside and up the dramatic staircase, to the left, inside Suite 203.
During the pandemic, Caroline used a unique method for distributing her orders to customers through an antique vending machine. It made the move and is what greets you as you enter her space.
With original hardwood floors and whitewashed, brick walls, Caroline had a gorgeous blank slate to work with when she moved into the space formerly occupied by Madelyn Cunningham with Kindred Bridal. Having done a pop-up with them in the past, she already knew she had a connection to the studio and couldn’t wait to move in. She used many of the items she had in her previous location and added some other unique pieces to add to the feeling of calm, creativity, and joy her customers experience when they walk in.
One wall has a whimsical mural that was part of Kindred Bridal done by artist, Grace Engel aka Phlox. Caroline has added to it and plans to continue to add color and detail. A new jewelry case in front of the mural is a lovely lingering space in the shop to see many unique pieces of jewelry. This is also where Caroline or her staff member, Naomi Mendoza, will walk customers through their consultation for an individualized Endless Chain™. Customers can then move to the cozy yet spacious waiting area in the center of the room.
In the furthest section of the shop, beyond the wall of empty windows that highlights and separates the space in the most magnificent way, is a wall of windows letting in natural light and looking down over part of the Old City. This is the sunroom and where customers are invited to sit while Caroline executes her trademarked Endless Chain™ service.
I chose a simple and elegant, rose-gold chain. With my wrist draped over a vintage, pink pillow and sitting across from Caroline, I experienced first-hand how she values and puts care into her trade and connects with her customers.
As she worked, we discussed her journey to get to this point. Some of this history can be found in our first article that highlighted this creative business woman and her jewelry. Caroline’s primary goal for herself has been to be creative every day, have freedom and space within to be creative and to produce beautiful pieces of jewelry for each customer. This goal is what pushed her to step out 4 years ago to begin ACF Jewelry full-time.
In addition to the popular and trademarked Endless Chain™, Caroline does jewelry repairs and can help to reimagine vintage pieces. She also does custom jewelry created simply from her imagination or yours. She can take items that hold sentimental value to the customer and incorporate those into the piece she creates for them. Many couples come in and design custom engagement rings. One of my favorite pieces was a State of TN wrap-around ring that was one of Caroline’s ideas brought to life.
I also left with a perfect abstract heart midi-ring that makes me smile every time I look at it. With her custom jewelry, there really is something for everyone.
The feel of the space is serene and warm. The vintage furniture, modern accents and whimsical touches throughout the studio have been thoughtfully placed and offer another side to Caroline’s creativity.
Caroline and Naomi offer individual appointments as well as group appointments. Picture a girl’s night out, bridal parties, graduation celebrations, unique birthday experiences and more. Caroline invites these small parties and says that food and drinks are welcome to be brought in to complete the event a customer is looking for.
ACF Jewelry works primarily on an appointment-only model. You can make appointments through the website or through their Instagram page. Walk-ins can be accommodated when space is available.