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Punk Apparel Store Owner Starts Kickstarter to Launch Organic Jewelry Line

By Serena Dai | May 22, 2013 7:29am
 Mark Thomas of The Alley is looking for help to make a "high-end" jewelry line a reality.
Punk Apparel Store Owner Starts Kickstarter to Launch Organic Jewelry Line
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LAKEVIEW — Forget skulls for a second. The owner of Lakeview’s punk apparel store has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get his upscale, “high-end” organic jewelry line off the ground — and there’s not a bone in sight.

Well, unless you count the material.

Mark Thomas, the businessman behind punk store The Alley, sex shop Taboo Tabou and cigar shop Blue Havana, decided earlier this year to pursue a line of earrings, necklaces and cufflinks made of organic materials like bone, stone and wood — all hand-carved by artisans in Bali, Indonesia.

Thomas has initiated a Kickstarter cash-raising effort to make Marché Noir Organics a reality. The line, he said, cannot launch without help on upfront costs on raw materials and labor from the Bali artisans.

People who contribute will get a first taste of the official line. A $25 donation comes with one line’s pendant necklaces or dog tags, and people who give $50 or more will get cufflinks.

Bigger donations will receive rewards like an 18-month jewelry subscription or a trip to Bali with Thomas to see the source of the line.

Once Marché Noir is off the ground, he hopes to sell it online, at trade shows and in boutiques — though not in his four stores near Belmont and Clark, which tend to offer lower price points for younger customers, he said. 

Marché Noir jewelry will cost between $50 and $100. 

Five percent of the revenue will be donated to Monkey Forest, a sanctuary that made Thomas and his wife Adrian fall in love with Bali.

Marché Noir is Thomas's attempt to move beyond the skulls, studs and skeletons that made his career. It will illustrate another side of him, Thomas has said.

"If I fail, I fail," he said. "I wanted to do something different."