Laurie Davis, owner of vintage store Lulu’s at the Belle Kay, had a predicament
of lustrous proportions: After growing dependent on a brand
of costume-jewelry cleaner to polish the hard-to-find, impossible-toreplace
pieces she carries in her store, she found it had been discontinued.

“You cannot clean costume jewelry in just anything,” insists Davis. Using a
fine-jewelry cleaner on pieces with rhinestones, faux gold, and Lucite can ruin
them. Davis wouldn’t dream of dousing high-end costume jewelry designed
by the likes of Iradj Moini and Larry Vrba in anything but the right product. So
she took matters into her own hands, contacted longtime client (and vintage jewelry
aficionado) Julie Nerenberg Block, and Jewelryvive was born.

In the beginning, Davis sent what little she had left of the previous
cleaner to her sister, a chemistry teacher in Boston, so she could break
down the formula. “The original idea was to make it ourselves,” Nerenberg
Block says. “We tried—bad idea. We decided we had to do this right.”
After a yearlong process of developing and tweaking the formula, finding a
manufacturer (local Schaumburg-based Tri Sect) and packaging (Nerenberg
Block wrote the copy for the label), the duo launched Jewelryvive in the
spring—and it was successful right away. “We’d only been live for two days, and
I was getting orders from California, New York, and Massachusetts,” says
Davis. “I don’t even know how people were finding us!”

"Jewelryvive is the best costume jewelry cleaner" title="Best Costume Jewelry Cleaner in Chicago

Most likely, their customer based has cropped up out of pure necessity, as
Jewelry Revive fills a gaping hole in the costume-jewelry market. While it
doesn’t occur to many people to clean their costume jewelry, it’s an important
step for a jewelry collector. “I love flea markets and vintage shows, but places
like that are dirty,” Nerenberg Block says. “Or, say you go to an estate sale;
those pieces have been sitting in someone’s attic for a long time—they’re dusty,
and if they’ve been worn, they’ve collected oils from the neck.”

Although the product is currently sold at Lulu’s and online at jewelryvive.com,
Davis says,“Our goals are big. We want to be in major department
stores like Target. We want to make a big impact here in Chicago, and
hopefully, within a year, we’ll be on home-shopping networks like QVC.” That
is, if they can keep Jewelry Revive in stock.