When Julie Ter Borg quit her job as a scientist to open her store, Julie Ellyn Designs, in downtown Bel Air more than two years ago, her dream was to bring handmade gifts back into the community. She never imagined that any of this would lead to her jewelry being featured on some of TV’s most-watched shows.
But the list of shows that have showcased her earrings, necklaces and other creations is like a “TV Guide” of everyone’s favorite: “This is Us,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Jane The Virgin,” “Bones,” “Riverdale,” “Arrow” and “The Hart of Dixie,” to name a few.
Ter Borg, who has been making jewelry since 2009, says earrings will be featured on an episode of “This Is Us” in February. And for her, the trend just continues. She recently submitted her creations for consideration for “The Perfectionist,” a spinoff of the popular teen franchise “Pretty Little Liars” and a few other pilots as well.
Her jewelry includes glittery wrapped bracelets with polished gemstones and as well as original silver earrings, necklaces and rings that she sells in her Bel Air store and in her online Etsy shop. Bel Air patrons can also shop handmade pieces from other artisans in Harford County and surrounding areas.
Ter Borg said her love for making jewelry began as a stress reliever when she was enrolled in graduate school, studying public health at Emory University in Atlanta. Now, almost 20 years later, it has become not only a full-time business but a strong passion of hers.
“I’ve always been craft driven because both of my grandmothers were seamstresses and very artsy,” Ter Borg says. “I had the scientific side and the art side, so making jewelry was such a wonderful release for me. I started off making gifts for friends. Then it became special requests, then bridal orders, and it just grew and grew.”
For shoppers looking for a fun girl’s night out or to try their hand at jewelry making, Ter Borg also offers classes, birthday parties and workshops. “Growing up, my family loved to give unique and handmade gifts. That was our thing. So, I love giving the community an opportunity to make things for their loved ones and friends.”
As for her own favorite pieces? Ter Borg confesses that some of her favorite jewelry to make was from the show, “The Vampire Diaries,” the supernatural drama filled with love, danger and disasters in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.
That includes the triple-wrapped bracelet worn by the character Elena. “It still sells out. I can’t even carry it in the shop and I can’t keep up with making it,” she says. “The same goes for earrings that another main character, Caroline, wore. So it’s exciting to see the broad draw of that piece across all age groups that really enjoy and buy my jewelry.”
And, while she never tires of seeing her jewelry on the big screen, Ter Borg says the most gratifying feeling is the support from the community.
“I think that’s the most heart-warming part, is the support of my friends and family, and of course, my clients,” she says. “Everyone in this town has always been so supportive and that’s been the greatest reward.”