Weld to Do

April 2024 View more

These permanent jewelry purveyors bring a new concept to bling

An array of bracelets
Weld + Weston

Permanent jewelry, what? Yep, this is a thing. Claspless bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and rings made from metal chain can be custom-fit and welded together right on your body. “It’s an everyday-wear piece of jewelry that stays on as long as you want it to stay on,” says Cassondra Pauling of Naperville-based Weld + Weston. These delicate chains are TSA friendly, but if you need to remove one for medical reasons (such as an MRI procedure) you can clip it easily with scissors and later have it rewelded.

See “All That Glitters” to read more about a new Wheaton business, The Babe Bodega, which also offers permanent jewelry.

Weld + Weston


When Cassondra Pauling isn’t at her day job with the City of Aurora—where she works as executive assistant to the CFO—she’s operating this pop-up permanent jewelry and custom hat business with the help of her two daughters. Since 2022, you may have spotted her welding bracelets for customers at shops such as Karisma and Faherty in downtown Naperville and Hudson Design House in Oswego. She offers more than 20 chain styles, with prices starting at $45 for 14-karat gold fill and $100 for 14-karat gold. “A lot of professionals want something a little more dainty for everyday wear,” Pauling says. “Teens tend to want something that has a little bit of substance—we have a box chain that is pretty high-selling with teens and college kids.” At her custom hat bar, you can customize your own hat with adornments such as ribbons and feathers.
Good to know: You can book Weld + Weston to set up shop at your own event with a minimum of six people. “I’ve done weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties over the years,” she says. As a party host, you can earn a free bracelet or a discount on jewelry depending on the size of your group. weldandweston.com


Several people wearing bracelets



Kelly Hemmerich has worked as a permanent makeup and medical tattoo artist for more than 25 years. When she heard about permanent jewelry, she thought it would be the perfect offshoot for her business, Boutique Ink in Geneva. “I knew it would be right up my alley because I’ve always had a passion for jewelry and I love making people happy,” she says. After learning how to weld, she carved out space in the front of her storefront to open Chained a year ago. She offers 30 different chain choices and a variety of charms, including birthstones and pearls ($20 each). Prices range from $65 to $105 for sterling silver, 14-karat gold filled, and rose-gold-filled chains; solid gold is priced by the inch. She offers walk-in sessions for special occasions such as Mother’s Day, but otherwise you’ll want to book an appointment in advance. “At the studio here, we can also fit up to 10 to 12 people for private parties, and if you have six people or over, you’ll get a complimentary charcuterie board, and you can BYOB,” Hemmerich says.
Good to know: Though Hemmerich doesn’t weld jewelry on children younger than 12, she will custom-make a clasped version for kiddos who want to match the permanent jewelry of an older friend or family member. 15 N. 2nd St.


Customers wearing bracelets



A labor-and-delivery nurse turned jewelry designer, Dana Mitchell is all about treating her customers to a treasured experience. While she started her business out of her home in 2010, she and her staff have been piercing ears and adorning necks and ears with handcrafted necklaces, earrings, and more since opening this storefront in 2018. In 2022 she added permanent jewelry to the offerings. “People love it because of the whole ‘forever’ part. It’s a memory-builder, and I love that it’s telling a story through a piece of jewelry,” Mitchell says. “We had a whole family of 15 people—when their mother passed away, they wanted to commemorate her life by all getting permanent jewelry. We have tons of couples that do it, which I love. We have mothers and daughters come in, or bridesmaids do it as an event.” Choose from chains in sterling silver, gold fill, 14-karat white gold, and yellow gold ($80 to $300). Charms start at $49 and top out around $200 to $300 for diamond hearts, bars, and baguettes. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted Thursday through Sunday.
Good to know:In 2023, Mitchell expanded the Adorn512 storefront into the space next door. There’s now much more elbow room to showcase women’s clothing as well as gift-worthy candles, cards, candy, and more for all ages. 1010 Curtiss St.


Photos: Weld + Weston; Chained; Adorn512