Out of a Dream

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Cheryl German Branch’s first earring design came to her as a vision in a dream. She had just moved back to her home in Mount Pleasant with her two young children. She was a little depressed and lacking in funds, so she prayed. “One morning a vision of an earring popped into my head. So I took out my earrings and took them apart and made my design with my own fingers,” she explains.

That was 20 years and hundreds of designs ago. What started out as displays at small crafts markets has now turned into a brick and mortar store called D’Wink Creative Jewelry and Expressional Sales near downtown Charleston’s famed City Market.

Walk into D’Wink and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of handcrafted jewelry including earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The earrings, Branch’s favorites, are the most popular items. In addition to glass beads, Branch uses a variety of materials to make her earrings: shells, gemstones, wood beads, metals and some wirework.

An elephant is the store logo, and elephant items are among the shop’s top sellers. “We chose an elephant because it’s pleasant and cheerful,” Branch adds. “We greet everyone who comes into the shop. We find out if they’re shopping for themselves or a friend and if they’re looking for something in particular. We get in a conversation with them and find out what their favorite color is. If it’s a gift, we ask about hair color and length, if they prefer jewelry that dangles—or not.”

In addition to jewelry, D’Wink carries body oils and fragrances and natural skincare products such as raw shea butter and raw black soap. Both come from Ghana and, according to Branch, help heal and rejuvenate your skin. They also sell fashion accessories—handbags, belts, scarves and T-shirts they can customize for special events.

Visit D’Wink Creative Jewelry and Expressional Sales at 168 Church St. or at dwinkstore.com.

—Penny Parker