Like many entrepreneurs, Jennifer J. Matchett is a serial inventor. She’s sold vintage clothing and opened a macaron bakery. But it’s her wildly successful jewelry and accessories business, Machete, which she helms out of a Marietta studio, that has won national acclaim.
When she was selling vintage clothing, she often came across random deadstock, or unsold inventory, such as a cache of Benetton eyewear she found in Egypt or a mess of T-shirts. She was particularly intrigued by a lot of leftover Italian acetate, a marbled-looking material made from resin and plastic, which she thought would be perfect for an accessories line she’d been wanting to launch. By using deadstock, Matchett’s collection would also be sustainable, a quality she’d learned to value from her mother, who restored antiques. “I recognized at a very early age that, if something is well made and cared for, it would last forever,” she says.
Her first product was a hoop earring, which caught the eye of Vogue via Instagram. “I didn’t really anticipate that it would sell all that well,” she says, instead focusing on the creative fulfillment of her enterprise. But she’d underestimated herself—her line took off. Five years later, she now offers acetate jewelry, eyewear, hair accessories, and Apple Watch bands, plus two recent additions: acetate hairbrushes and wristwatches.
The collection of three wristwatches, launched this winter, is the culmination of years of challenges. “It’s been difficult because I wanted a watch with an acetate face, but the construction and [wearers’] body temperatures and outdoor temperatures don’t necessarily agree,” she says. “The logo would slide down, or the numbers would move around [on our prototypes]. It took a long time to develop.” She hopes that people can balance their smartwatches with a more classic timepiece and maintains there is room for both.
The hairbrushes come in eight colors, three sizes, and two types of bristles: detangling or boar-and-nylon (from $125). “We’ve been working on these for three years, and we finally figured it out,” Matchett says. Catch her latest at Atlanta-area shops such as W.port and Megan Huntz.
This article appears in our February 2023 issue.