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Local women bring cassettes, VHS back to life

TRURO - Almost everyone has a song or movie they have fond memories of, and two local women are helping those people keep them close to their hearts.

Jann McFarlane, left, and Jeanette Himmelman have started Reject Jewelry, where they take ribbon from old cassettes tapes, 8-tracks or VHS, coil them, and pop them in a vial to be worn as a necklace.

Jann McFarlane and Jeanette Himmelman have started Reject Jewelry, a concept that sees the cassette, VHS or even 8-track tape cut, wound and placed in a vial attached to a necklace.

"As you can see, we've got quite a bit of vintage items around and we were just looking for something to do," said Himmelman, a systems analyst. "It's been a really long winter and we just wanted a hobby or challenge."

The idea came about when McFarlane spotted a VHS tape on the side of the road, with the ribbon blowing around in the wind. She stopped, picked up the ribbon and casing, coiled the ribbon back up and threw it in the back of the car. It wasn't until around the end of summer/beginning of fall that the two decided to do something with it.

"It combines a bunch of different loves," said McFarlane. "We decided to do 1,000 in total. We wanted an end point. We're just starting out, but we've already had a wholesale order with a small shop in Parrsboro - Sweet Briar Boutique."

The women have started an Etsy shop to sell the necklaces and are continuously updating their songs or movies, along with photography online.

"We've had some interest from people on Etsy," McFarlane said. "We have a bride who wanted to do a set for her bridal party."

While vinyl is making a comeback these days with better-than-ever sound, Himmelman said people aren't saying that about VHS or cassettes.

"I don't think we'll see a resurgence," she said. "One of our challenges is to go out and find the particular song or movie people want. We really like that a lot."

The duo will hit up flea markets and shops in Halifax, as well as the New-to-You store operated by the Colchester Community Workshop.

"It's so fun for us. It gives us a reason to be there, more so than just collecting things," added McFarlane, who manages the Materials Recovery Facility in Kemptown.

The two don't know how long it will be before they hit their goal of 1,000 vials, but they're determined to get there.

"It could be a year, it could be 20," laughed McFarlane.

"It will pick up once word gets out there a little more," Himmelman added.

For now, things are starting to pick up on their Etsy shop and Twitter page, the latter of which where their cat, Gary, often makes appearances.

"Twitter is fun too, because it lets us play with things differently," said McFarlane.

With the uniqueness of their project, specific requests are also coming in for two pieces of ribbon combined in one vial.

"And people are asking for the colours," said Himmelman. "At the beginning of a cassette tape, the ribbon is clear, yellow or blue, which makes it stand out a little more."

Each vial is $18 Canadian. For more information or to see what necklaces have already been made, visit or follow @RejectJewelry on Twitter.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa


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