Zulay and Steph Smith are quite literally turning trash into treasure.
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Zass Design Zulay and Stephanie Smith
Credit: Courtesy Zass Design

Perhaps more than ever, we're all looking to support small businesses this holiday season. If you've got someone on your list with the word "jewelry" next to their name, do we have just the Southern suggestion for you.

It's time to become acquainted with Zass, founded by Raleigh, North Carolina, mother-daughter team, Zulay and Steph Smith. For their unique baubles, the two upcycle beer cans, vinyl records, acrylic scraps, and other discarded materials into attention-stealing jewelry creations. Thus far, they've rescued some 10,000+ water bottles destined for a landfill, 7,000+ architecture samples, and 5,000+ aluminum cans. With gorgeous designs and their pieces affordably priced in the $20-$200 range, we predict big things for these Raleigh creatives.

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Credit: Courtesy Zass Design

So how did these ladies become inspired to start their business? "The heart behind what we do has always been to provide unique, feel-good fashion for folks that is also good for the world and our future. Both being graphic designers by trade, we had held on to numerous printed materials (magazines, postcards, etc.) and never had the heart to recycle them. We knew there had to be a way for those pages to live on in a sustainable fashion," Stephanie shares with Southern Living. "Being eco-fashion enthusiasts to begin with, we were stoked to start creating upcycled wearable accessories (and being able to work with my mom is a huge plus!). We soon realized the possibilities were endless when it came to rescuing typically discarded materials."

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Credit: Courtesy Zass Design

During these trying times, the Smiths feel grateful that they can continue to do their work, and they're "feeling hopeful for what 2021 will bring," says Stephanie. They both, too, find motivation during this tough chapter by Zass' larger mission. "Our passion for a healthier planet has always been the driving force behind our company. During these challenging times we think it's even more important to focus on continuing our contributions to keeping our world as healthy as possible," comments Zulay. "We also stay super inspired by all rescued materials we come across, especially the creative designs being printed on aluminum cans," she adds, noting that their brew shop collection made with such salvaged cans is totally customizable.

You can check out Zass' full collection online here. It's time to get those holiday wheels turning, y'all.

WATCH: 100 Gallons of Coins Recovered from Waterfall at North Carolina Aquarium Closed Amid Pandemic

Mama always said, "When you look good, you feel good," so we're adding the timely addendum: "When you feel bad but wear bold, colorful, jewelry, you feel better."