April Logan knows style. She’s been helping the fashion-minded get dressed for more than two decades, having worked at many of the best local stores in Birmingham and in her current position as the store manager of Marella, where she has been since 2008. The daughter of a welder, it was a natural progression for her to add jewelry crafting to her arsenal of talents. Her jewelry line, Lulu Raine, is carried at Marella and Defining Home. Welcome, April!
How did you develop a passion for fashion?
My fashion sense was definitely influenced by my mother, Ernestine Sturgeon. I remember a pair of suede, eggplant-colored platform wedge shoes that my sister and I would sneak and wear. My mother encouraged our ever-changing fashion creations, and along with Seventeen Magazine, we got it right!
What was it like to go shopping with your mom?
Saturdays were our day to shop. Mom would take my two sisters and me to lunch and off to Brookwood Mall and Parisian where we would spend hours trying on, and, with her help, choosing the perfect outfits. We shopped at Blach’s, Loveman’s and Weil’s furs. Mom always looks amazing and looks forward to what’s trending each season.
How long have you been the manager at Marella?
I started working at Marella in December 2008, hired as manager with the goal of bringing a fresh new atmosphere to Marella’s already trendy, classy style.
Tell us about your own jewelry line, Lulu Raine.
My jewelry line landed four years ago. Lulu Raine, the long-time-coming name, came to me after years of letting the jewelry line develop and grow. Lulu is a name given to me by my dad as a child, and Raine came from my middle name, Lorraine. Lulu Raine jewelry is filling a niche of wearable designs with simplicity and an element of originality. Finding quality supplies has been a challenge, but research has been fun — it tends to lead you to other things. My interest in jewelry design developed after making a suede rope bracelet, and customers loved it. I feel you are born with creative talents. My father, Leonard Sturgeon, is a self-taught welder who, after many years, was told he could not weld anymore, due to having a pacemaker. This was a sad day for someone who was so passionate about his work. Since then, he has taught me to solder, which I hope leads to welding. Look out for new items coming soon from Lulu Raine!
What attracted you to making jewelry?
I see jewelry as a final touch to any outfit, so being the sleek, simple dresser that I am, I wanted to create a collection that would work well for myself and others.
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry that you’ve made?
I never thought I would play favorites, but I designed a hammered choker with soldered circles. I am obsessed!!
What are the price points of your jewelry?
Lulu Raine Designs prices range from $95 to $225.
Where do you source the materials from?
Well, let’s just say it’s like going on a dig. I have found quality, basic items from an online source. I have also found great things at Scott’s [Antique Market in Atlanta].
We’d love to hear the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
Since you are a fashion gal, we’re curious: What did your bedroom look like as a teenage girl?
I shared my bedroom with my sister, Donnay, who passed away in September 2014. It was painted red (the thought of that now makes me cringe), and one wall was covered with pages from fashion magazines tacked on the walls.
What upcoming local event are you most looking forward to?
I am always looking forward to upcoming events at Marella. The most exciting is a Vince show, going on now through March 21, which we host twice a year. Also, I have been blown away by Birmingham Fashion Week, which we participate in. And I’m really looking forward to the Mountain Brook Village Spring Soirèe!
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Just being at my house where we relax, cook crab cakes and drink wine.
And, can you share a favorite local restaurant?
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
I would like to say that I am very sure about what I like (some might say picky). And I’m afraid of cats and rodents.
What books are on your nightstand?
If you weren’t managing Marella and making jewelry, what would you be doing?
If I was not managing Marella, the possibilities are endless …
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, friends and family.
Starbucks coffee, Extra bubblegum and Starbucks coffee. (Ha!)
Thank you, April, for shedding some insight into your life with our readers today.
And thank you to Meg McKinney for today’s photos. See more of Meg’s work at megmckinneyphotos.com.