Main gig: Jewelry designer
Where to find her work: Boutiques across the country. For more info, visit her website.
Winifred Grace Gundeck has always had a passion for, as she put it, "making things and selling them." As a young girl, she hand-painted barrettes and sold them to a boutique in her native Miami. Years later, after a stint as a graphic designer, she rekindled her love of the handmade by starting a jewelry business, creating custom necklaces, earrings and bracelets for trunk shows under the name Winifred Grace. That was a decade ago, and today Gundeck produces four lines of "bohemian-ethnic" pieces a year, many of which have appeared in national fashion rags. "A constant theme in my work is texture and movement," says the self-taught designer, whose wearable art incorporates everything from bronze to African beads to leather. Through it all, the jewelry designer hasn't forgotten her humble start—she still has her first check from the Miami boutique. "I never cashed it," she says with a laugh from her home studio in Chicago. Give her success, she'll never have to. —Chris Clayton