When I first sat down with a borrowed pair of jewelers tools and a single strand of garnets, my soul was instantly soothed. What started as a hobby and passion, is now Plumb Line Jewelry. Even though this is now a full-time business, that feeling has never strayed. The passion and love of my craft is the driving force behind Plumb Line Jewelry and is what continues to propel our business forward.
How It All Began
Since our start over a decade ago, Plumb Line Jewelry has always been a family business. When my favorite past-time turned into a career, my husband, Casey, stepped in to handle the business end of our company. At the very beginning, we started by selling our products at local art markets in our home state of Utah. However, this was no easy feat. The local art scene, especially in Salt Lake City, is highly competitive, so just getting our foot in the door was not as simple as it seems. That being said, our first, small Saturday market selling our jewelry was more successful than we initially thought possible. After that, we knew we were onto something special.
From there, the principles of our company have evolved from the journey for its survival and are a direct reflection of ourselves. Each piece is personally significant as it represents my craft as well as myself.
What Makes Us Different
As one of our core values, we pay particular attention to the products and supplies that we use. We make every effort to ensure that both the products and supplies are sustainable and come from reputable sources. Due to this, we are proud to obtain the majority of our precious metals from the Karen Hill Tribe villagers of Thailand. We are able to use these materials through a very special connection.
Soon after college graduation, Casey and I moved to Vietnam for six months to volunteer in an orphanage. On the weekends, we would visit other areas, Thailand being one of them. We always visited the enormous marketplaces and my favorite part of it was, of course, the jewelry section. The market had so many gemstones and silver pieces that blew me away. Since then, Thailand really opened my mind to the possibilities within jewelry, and that is when my designs really started to expand. Once we started producing pieces on a larger scale, I knew that Thailand was the place that could help me in the production of my designs. We went back to the market in Bangkok and were guided to an area called Chiang Mai, a mountainous area in Northern Thailand with a rich heritage of handmade silver making. It is all done by hand through an ancient process. Since then, the rest is history. We have proudly been getting out custom silver pieces produced there for a decade now and truly enjoy working with the Karen Hill Tribe villagers.
As far as our gemstones go, we also obtain these through an important relationship. When Plumb Line Jewelry was still brand new, we started going to Tucson, Arizona to attend one of the largest gem shows. Through this, we have established long-lasting relationships with gemstone vendors. These stones are mined from all over the world, and we are thrilled to incorporate these into our handmade jewelry designs.
Where The Inspiration Comes From
If I had to pinpoint where most of my inspiration comes from it would be nature and the world around me, plain and simple. This has been my inspiration from day one, and that is why I started creating jewelry. People express themselves through art, music, painting, sculpting, or many other different ways. Ultimately, it is a way to express themselves and how they are processing things around them. I was immediately drawn to jewelry because it was simply the most natural way to express myself that I had come across. Initially, I would make pieces and then put them in a drawer. The beauty and magic to me happened in the process. The finished piece was just a byproduct of a process that I loved and was very cathartic. This process can be a very delicate balancing act these days. When the numbers and deadlines drown out the process, I find myself losing the joy of the process and tend to struggle with the inspiration to create new pieces. When this occurs, I typically take a quiet hike, sit by a stream, or watch my children playing with the dog. I am always amazed how quickly the inspiration returns and I soon become rerooted in the process.
While the inspiration for a particular design may come from many different sources, my creative process follows a "blueprint" specifying each and every piece is well made with high-quality materials, will be comfortably worn, is fashion and price conscious, and of course, looks great with just about anything!
Where To Go From Here
As our business has grown, there is much to consider beyond our jewelry designs. As a small business, we work intimately with our employees and value each of them very much. We are proud to pay a "living wage" to each person that we are fortunate to work with. We are very aware of the vendors, suppliers, and businesses we support, and in turn, try to be a business worth supporting.
While we no longer sell in art shows as we did at the very beginning, we’re thrilled to be available here on our site and in the Sundance Catalog. Having my jewelry featured and ready to sell in the Sundance Catalog is a dream come true, and has been a blessing far than what we could have ever imagined.
Having forged a unique path together, Casey and I are blessed to spend time with our kids while providing for our family. Alongside our children, we have learned that creative expression coupled with positivity and dedication can be a successful endeavor. The growth of Plumb Line Jewelry has been a very exciting journey so far, and we’re excited about the future. We truly love what we do, and we hope you do too.