How it's made and why that matters
How it all started
In 2010, Phoenix Mountain Creations was started as a hobby, like many art businesses. After looking into new, hands-on options, I purchased a small tool kit and some basic supplies. It all began with a simple pair of beaded earrings.
In 2011, I left my banking job to farm and to see if I could turn this jewelry hobby into something more. That year, I focused on the farm, turned into a DIY "expert", and worked towards making our family more self-sustainable. It was an amazing time full of learning and creativity.
The next year, it rained. And then it rained some more. We joked that the trout ate our beans since it flooded and rained so much that summer. For Phoenix Mountain Creations, that was a turning point. There was a lot of down time that summer so I focused on learning new techniques and processes. I taught myself how to forge metal and solder. By that fall, my Etsy sales were picking up which encouraged me to keep going. All of the sudden, I had customers who weren't friends and relatives (I am so GRATEFUL for those friends and relatives too). Complete strangers were wearing my pieces!
Commitment to our customers
You, my customers, are my top priority. It starts by making you smile when you open the carefully thought out packaging to reveal your new piece of jewelry. As you put your earrings on or that necklace that matches the perfect dress, know that I created that piece with thought and care. That personal touch is what makes handmade so special.
Your jewelry is handmade, beginning from wire, sheet, or reclaimed silver scrap. Basic tools are used to shape, form and refine the designs. Each piece begins in my studio at the base of Phoenix Mountain. Some pieces are carefully planned and others are spur of the moment. Sometimes an idea hits and I start on it immediately. If any commercial components are used, this information is in the individual item description. By fall of 2020, my goal is to no longer use commercial components beyond wingnut earring backs and small bezel settings.
How it's made matters
I work with trusted suppliers to source sustainable materials when possible. All of the raw silver used in my designs is recycled. Most turquoise and cabochons are purchased from sellers that I've come to know and trust. The majority of my gemstones are sourced from my raw material supplier who makes frequent visits to cutting centers to ensure fair wages and ethical treatment of the employees. These are all resources I've been relying on since the beginning and have faith in their transparency.
As I continue to grow, learning sustainable practices has become a top priority. Jewelry making has some harsh chemicals involved at times and I'm constantly working to find better, safer solutions. Some designs will be phased out in the near future so I can work towards this goal of being more eco friendly.
All of my packaging is reusable or recyclable. Paper shreds are generally used instead of bubble wrap. If bubble wrap makes it into your package, it's been reused from my supply orders. Please keep this cycle going and reuse as much as possible.