Sassy’s is a haven of vintage items, which makes it hard for any antique lover to leave empty-handed. Having opened in early November at 5346 E. Mountain Street in Stone Mountain Village, the shop is filled with one-of-a-kind plates, glasses, paintings, clocks, jewelry and more.
This week, Patch chats with owner Joan Sharpe (who named the business after her Yorkie) about how she jumped into jewelry making and why her job is her playtime.
Patch: Is this your first business?
Joan Sharpe: No. I had a booth at the antique shop down on the corner for three years, but I had so much stuff that I decided that I wanted my own store.
Patch: What inspired you to be in the Village?
Sharpe: I moved to the Village four years ago. My husband has Alzheimer's, and we lived in Virginia. I needed to bring him here, close to my daughter. She lives in Decatur, and we couldn't live in Decatur, so we bought a house here in Stone Mountain. And I just love the Village! Everybody is very friendly. I think the Village is going to come back with the art incubator program and all the new art galleries.
Patch: And one major part of your shop is your jewelry?
Sharpe: I had played around with jewelry for years: I make jewelry, and I also buy jewelry at auctions and estate sales. I refurbish it or tear it apart and remake it. I don't call myself an artist, even though I do all kinds of things with jewelry, but I enjoy playing with it.
I also do repairs on jewelry. Lots of times when people have old jewelry from an aunt or grandmother, they don't quite know what to do with it. They'll bring it to me, and I either remake the earrings, or remake things into pins for them, or if they have a pin and want a pendant, I'll do that. I'll also do art pieces, like a [tabletop] Christmas tree. And then they can say, "Oh! This was Grandmother's jewelry, but now I can set it on my vanity table and enjoy it."
Patch: How did you first get into jewelry?
Sharpe: My mother, bless her heart, had rheumatoid arthritis, and her hands got into little claws. She could not put her jewelry on, so I started making jewelry for her that had magnetic clasps. Then she went into a nursing home, and everybody loved her jewelry because they also, with arthritis, couldn't wear their jewelry, so I started making jewelry for the old ladies at the nursing home. Then I had other people calling me, saying, "I love the magnetic clasps! Can you do this and that?" That's how I basically started 20 years ago.
Patch: Do you have a favorite style or piece of jewelry?
Sharpe: I have favorite pieces my husband has given me over the years, just because they were gifts from him. … I [also] have a necklace that my 9-year-old grandson made me out of just plastic beads that says, "you rock,” and I wear it all the time because I love it and my grandson gave it to me. He loves to play with my tools and beads and make jewelry.
Patch: Aside from jewelry, you also sell other items, too.
Sharpe: Yes, the other items you'll see here are from estate sales and auctions, too. I end up buying plates and furniture, anything that's sold for a good price and I think I can make some money on. I mean, I am in business to make money. I don't call this 'work'; I call this 'play' because I enjoy it so much. I love playing with my jewelry, and I love seeing pretty pieces of furniture and plates and dishes and things. I find this more fun than a job where I would go and sit at a desk.