Steven Lesse has some stories to tell – making a necklace out of a gall stone is just one of them.
The co-owner of Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery has seen a lot since opening his downtown Ann Arbor shop in 1974. Originally located in the building that now houses Herb David Guitar Studio, Abracadabra moved to its current location at 205 E. Liberty in 1976 and has remained there ever since. Lesse, who co-owns the business with his wife Katherine, fell in love with Ann Arbor when he set up a booth at the art fair during the summer of 1973.
“I was tired of the gypsy lifestyle – it was like being in a rock band,” Lesse said. “You were always traveling around city to city, art fair to art fair. It was a fun lifestyle when you’re not attached and you don’t have own a house.” Soon after he visited, Lesse rented his first building in Ann Arbor and opened his first gallery, which also became his apartment.