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Plum owner makes jewelry on site

By Staff | Jan 29, 2010

Cari Aliveto Rosen, owner of Plum on German Street, works on a ring at her jewelry art station inside the store. Photo by Alex Lemley/Chronicle

Shepherdstown’s German Street is known for eclectic shopping. From She- Town Divas to Lullaby Lu, there’s something for every shopper. But something that hasn’t been offered to the consumers of Shepherdstown is personalization shopping-and at Plum you get exactly what you ask for.

Plum, located at 133 W. German St., is a young studio and shop owned by designer and artist Cari Aliveto Rosen. Rosen, born and raised in Jefferson County originally received an education degree from Shepherd University and taught 5th grade for seven years. After giving birth to her twin girls five years ago however, she needed a change, and the change was within herself.

Coming back from a craft fair, her mother-in-law gave her a bead-your-own bracelet kit, and the kit quickly led to an addicting hobby. Once feedback from friends and family brought her to creating a Facebook fan page, she saw the possibility of a lucrative business. Thus, Plum was born.

Plum, a single-room studio in the renovated bottom half of a German Street building, is decorated in vintage purple, white and silver decorations along with photography of local sites in Andy Warhol-ish, pop culture filters (Rosen’s husband’s original pieces). The person welcoming all customers when they walk in is Rosen herself. She works on her metal pieces of art in the middle of the store as customers tell her exactly what they’d like to see on their pieces.

From rings to records fashioned into cuffed bracelets, Plum is all about building from scratch the jewelry of your dreams.

“From the gifts I make here in the studio that are urban rustic, very personal I feel they have a feel to them that makes them not perfect but that’s also what makes it your very own… It’s not like the same necklace every woman got for Valentine’s Day from Kay Jewelers. It’s what you wanted,” Rosen says.

Doing a 180 with her profession and doing something she loves, Rosen feels that reflects in her work. Her goal now that the shop nears its one-year anniversary is to incorporate the town that she loves so much and grew up in. This past Christmas Rosen began creating limited edition Shepherdstown Christmas ornaments that she hopes to continue issuing annually.

Other products she hopes to instill in her jewelry line included graduation, baptisms, Mother’s Day and any other special occasion gifts requested.

“I go into the store constantly and just look around, there’s something new every time I go in and it’s amazing how she works right there in front of everyone, watching a piece created in front of your eyes,” said Erin Kaknis, a Shepherdstown resident.

The affordable sterling silver work can be crafted to your liking, even as you wait. And if any customer is unhappy with the outcome of their piece of jewelry, Rosen urges them to speak up. She is a firm believer in working on a piece until the customer is happy, no extra charge.

She does this because she was inspired to make jewelry by women in her life- her mother, friends, her daughters and the woman looking for pieces to go with a business suit or for a fancy dinner, even something to wear for everyday wear.

To see more of the products from Plum visit plumwv.com or follow the store on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/plumwv and twitter.com/plumwv.