When tinkering turns terrific, magic happens
– and a business is born.
That’s the lesson Lori Unruh discovered when
she took her hobby and turned it into Cadella’s,
a thriving jewelry design business.
“I started tinkering around making handmade
jewelry gifts for friends and family, and once I
saw the joy the jewelry brought them, I realized
I needed to take this hobby to a larger scale,” said
Unruh, a Southern Indiana native and mom of
two wildly talented kids – Ella, 15, and Cade, 14
– who lives in Floyds Knobs with her husband,
Chad, CEO of MAC Construction.
Cadella’s, which is a compilation of the names
of Unruh’s teens, offers handcrafted jewelry,
including bangles, cuffs and necklaces, with
interchangeable photo tiles chosen by customers
that often feature families, friends, and furry loved
ones. It’s a unique design that Unruh created and,
recently, patented, too. different pieces of jewelry.”
A successful hairdresser for 18 years, Unruh
decided to take time off about five years ago and
focus solely on raising her children. To keep her
creative juices flowing, the avid photographer
designed bangle bracelets for fun, using photos of
her children and friends placed in tiny frames. She
later developed the concept of the interchangeable
photo tiles and tried out the designs on her friends
and family. Unruh started with bangles and then added
leather and fur cuffs, necklaces and even cuff
bands that fit the Apple Watch. The photo tiles,
which are designed and personalized online, fit
into tiny picture frames crafted onto the jewelry.
Once created, boutiques lined up with more
than 40 shops in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and
Michigan selling the Cadella’s line. Unruh and
her team also designed an online shop (www.
cadellas.com) and sales skyrocketed.
“I would host parties at first where friends
would customize their bracelets,” she explained.
“As the jewelry got out there, boutiques reached
out, but there was just no way to customize the
bangles without coming up with a design to make
interchangeable photos. I worked for a year on the
design with some amazing people, trying out molds
until we found the design, which allows people
to interchange their blessings and memories into
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“It makes for such a unique piece of jewelry
because you can constantly change the photos
to fit your memories,” said Unruh. “If you have
a child in sports, you can wear a sports photo. If
you’re a grandparent, you can change out different
grandchildren, or if you are going out with your
girlfriends, you can wear pictures reflecting your