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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

city business & economy

Permanent jewelry store 'Missing Link Jewelry' opens in Fountain Square Mall


On any Saturday or Sunday, tucked in the south corner of Fountain Square Mall’s lowest floor, shoppers can now find Amanda McPike sitting below a neon sign that reads, “Missing Link Jewelry” – the name for her more modern approach to traditional accessory.  

The idea of permanent jewelry rose to popularity in 2017 after a Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based boutique Catbird created the original “Forever Bracelet.” Instead of being removable by clasp, the “Forever Bracelet” is fitted to each client and safely welded closed. Usually made with a high-quality metal to avoid tarnish or any skin sensitives, permanent jewelry is meant to be always worn and must be removed professionally. The concept took off, with similar locations popping up all over the globe.  

Longtime Bloomington local Amanda McPike noticed this phenomenon too, and she was just as fascinated as all the jewelry connoisseurs that were getting “zapped,” as Catbird would say. First intrigued by a post she saw on Instagram, McPike decided permanent jewelry was a business venture she was eager to embark on and was ready to bring the concept to the Bloomington community.  

“Quite frankly, I’m very lazy and so I like to not have to put my jewelry on every morning,” McPike said. “I thought it was a really cool concept, then I thought about it for a while, and I was like, ‘this is something I want to do.’ I’m basically giving myself a second job, but I thought it would be worth it. So, I went ahead and went all in.”  

For four or five months before opening her Fountain Square Mall location, McPike spent time learning about different metals, chains, suppliers, clasps, connectors, charms and everything she would need for the services she wanted Missing Link Jewelry to offer.  

Conveniently enough, McPike had prior experience in a type of micro welding very similar to the technique used in permanent jewelry from a previous job in manufacturing. Practicing on her children and family members and with the help of video tutorials, McPike used her welder at home to perfect her micro welding skills before opening the brick-and-mortar store.  

Still working her full-time job on weekdays, starting in February, McPike made 30-minute appointments available to schedule on her website for each weekend.  

“It’s been really exciting and fun,” McPike said. “I wanted it to start slowly, so I didn’t want a bunch of back-to-back appointments in the beginning because I’m still getting into it and learning how to run a business. I have had customers every day since we’ve been open. Kids, all the way up to adults, retirees – I’ve had clientele from every walk of life.”  

Customers can get permanent rings, bracelets, anklets and necklaces made from their choice of stainless steel, sterling silver and gold-filled metals with their choice of charm adornments.  

“Another reason I got into this business was because I have sensitive skin,” McPike said. “When I buy jewelry at Target or Maurices or somewhere like that, the plating is so thin that it wears off very quickly. I would only get a few wears out of it before it would make my neck completely red and itchy. With these types of metals, they won’t do that.”  

McPike said none of her clients have experienced issues with the metals irritating their skin and that the maintenance is relatively low. Customers can wear permanent jewelry to bed, in the shower and it can be cleaned using a mild dish soap and a clean cloth. She provides each customer with a care sheet to take home after each jewelry installation.  

Clasps and connectors are also available for purchase if clients would prefer a removable piece instead of the permanent model. 

“I like to take something and make it my own,” McPike said. “I just like a specific look, but I think that everyone should have that opportunity. So, if what you like is dainty gold jewelry, then I want to be able to supply that to you. If what you like is a more bold, stainless steel, grungy look – I want to be able to supply that as well. It's a whole spectrum.”  

Appointments can be made on the “Missing Link Jewelry” website. McPike is also available to be booked for private events and parties at locations of the customers’ choosing.  

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