Model J Vintage is New York City native, Joy Grad. That’s me!
I’ve been collecting vintage since my mom took me to the 26th Street Flea Market in Manhattan when I was a teenager. I remember one purchase especially well. I loved bakelite and wanted to buy a set of forks and spoons with carved red bakelite handles. They were so beautiful! My mom decided she was going to show me how to bargain. She was so fierce I remember being a bit embarrassed. The poor guy never stood a chance. She got her price and I got my tableware, which I still have to this day minus a few well-used pieces.
My very first purchases though were small ones. I remember buying old, damaged necklaces, taking them apart and refashioning them as multiple pairs of earrings. That was the very start of my lifelong love of jewelry, which led me into a career as an artist jeweler, selling my work in stores and then at art fairs for eight years. I continue my work as a metalsmith and jeweler today from the humble beginnings of pliers and flea market finds.