McElfresh was raised in Centerville and has lived in Monroe for 18-plus years. She collects antiques and is owner of Antiques Village Antique Mall on Market Street in Centerville.
“I have always loved old things that have a story to tell,” she said. “I gravitate toward utilitarian pieces that were used on a daily basis. I have many personal collections that I am downsizing, one includes more than 250 coverlets dating from 1750s through 1890s and the other are blue salt glazed crocks and jugs with decoration.”
She started High Cotton Swag Jewelry and Accessories in January 2019.
“The company was created to offer women beautiful fashion jewelry at affordable prices,” McElfresh said. “Everything I sell is $5 and it is all lead- and nickel-free. I found Paparazzi Jewelry and fell in love with the product. The pieces were gorgeous and of good quality. More importantly, I loved how this $5 jewelry made me feel.
“After my husband passed, I did not truly feel anything for many years. As crazy as it sounds, this beautiful jewelry made me feel happy, it made me smile, and it made me want to pay more attention to myself. I felt like other women might like to have fun and smile more.”
She became an independent consultant and now has live jewelry shows every Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. on the business Facebook page, “High Cotton Swag Jewelry & Accessories.”
McElfresh has always believed in the labor movement and the rights of hourly workers.
“In 2002, I transitioned from UFCW to a position with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Vice President Community Services in conjunction with the Dayton, Miami Valley Regional Labor Council,” she said.
She was also a vice president for the Dayton United Way, continuing her work in multiple communities that tough many lives.
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