News & Politics

Best of 2004: Allison Preibe Brooks

She turned a hobby into a business with her handmade jewelry.

Baubles and Beads. After Allison Priebe Brooks left her press job on Capitol Hill in 2002, she enrolled in a jewelry-making class. Soon women were approaching Brooks, 28, on the street offering to buy her jewelry. The bulk of her Queen Bee Designs consists of necklaces made from vintage beads, sea glass, shells, and semiprecious stones. Along with bracelets and earrings, they're selling fast at local boutiques. TV newswomen Kathleen Matthews and Lisa Ling are fans, and Laura Bush has expressed interest in a necklace for daughter Barbara.

Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl.  Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.