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'The whole thing blew up overnight' | Charlotte sisters reflect on success of jewelry line Twine & Twig

They’ve been in business almost 10 years and still manage to make everything by hand, right in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte sisters say they accidentally started what has become a popular jewelry line now sold in stores across the country.

Twine & Twig exploded in popularity early on with some national attention, but the sisters say what kept them going is the help they received along the way from other women in business, keeping their business all women-owned and operated.

They’ve been in business almost 10 years and still manage to make everything by hand, right in Charlotte. It’s not something you see every day -- a jewelry line sold in boutiques across the country still being made bead by bead, locally and by hand.

"It kind of came about by accident really, we were stringing beads one summer," Elizabeth White said. "We used to pick up shells that were interesting to us and we would string them up."

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Friends convinced them to sell the statement necklaces.

"It was luck," White said. "The right person saw it, we had a launch party and the whole thing blew up overnight. It was amazing."

It was so 'amazing' in fact that Vogue soon featured them, Anthropologie and Neiman Marcus started carrying their line, and so did hundreds of boutiques across the country.

Jacquelyn Tugwell is the other sister and co-founder behind Twine & Twig and remembers the excitement of their early success.

"Anthropologie was my favorite store forever so when we got Anthropologie that was like, OK we did it -- it’s amazing," Tugwell said.

When COVID-19 hit, much of their business shifted online with 75% of their sales actually coming from their website. Still completely women-owned and staffed, they like to say they were doing the 'flexible work thing' long before the pandemic made it popular.

"We're super flexible because we’re also working moms so we're very flexible with people," White said. "If you need to go, coming in early, taking [an] extra day here and there, we get it." 

They also just launched a teen line -- designed together with their kids. Tugwell said they loved the experience. 

"We had our three oldest daughters, which was an interesting experience," Tugwell said. "Everything we think is cool, they don’t."

But they all agree: It’s pretty cool to have such a successful family business.

Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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