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by Ashley Lodato

At Bronwen Jewelry, we give thanks to you, our loyal customers. You've provided us with photos of you wearing your Bronwen pieces at the beach, in whitewater rapids, on surfboards, and on mountain peaks. You've told us stories of losing your favorite tiny charm necklace, only to find it months later at the bottom of your climbing pack. You've shared your ideas for jewelry designs. You've helped us find studio spaces and connected us with artisans in Mexico and Thailand. But most of all, you've helped us grow from a tiny one-woman operation into....well, if not a global powerhouse, at least a viable company with high-quality products and principled business ethics.

bronwen jewelry active jewelry artisan made in the usa gold necklace

We have always--and will always--made our products in the USA, handcrafted by artisan jewelers right in our Bend, OR studio. All of our products come with--and will always come with--a lifetime repair or replace warranty; that's how strongly we stand behind our quality and our customer satisfaction. And we invest in companies that are working to advance social and environmental causes. We have much to be grateful for and we like to communicate our gratitude through action. 

So thank you--thank you for believing in our jewelry and our company. In return, we'd like to give you some sweet deals during the long Thanksgiving weekend, so you can stock up on some Bronwen favorites for friends and family (or heck, for yourself--you deserve it!).

bronwen jewelry sale ski jewelry active jewelry bronwen gift guide for active women

Use promo code HappyShopping25 from Nov 23-27, 2017 and you'll receive 25% off your entire order, including sale items (Global Market excluded). That's right--25% off, without even leaving the comfort of your own home.

All those people who complimented you on your handmade jewelry this year? Now you know exactly what you can give them for Christmas. Consider buying batches of a collection for those who inspire and support you: teachers, coaches, tutors, care-givers, and colleagues. You'll want to stock up on stocking stuffers, too. Our Ribbon Wrap BraceletsTiny Charm Necklaces and Swim Wrap Bracelets will be the most coveted items in the socks! And don't forget all the little girls in your family. Visit our petite b line for adorable pint-sized pieces.

Check out our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide featuring 10 of our Best Selling Items

All under $50 each With Promocode HappyShopping25

Valid 11/23-11/27

'Tis the season for giving thanks. We extend ours to you, and hope you will pay it forward to the people in your life who matter to you.

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

Active girls, Get Dressed!

11/12/2017 12:58 PM

by Ashley Lodato

Psst....hey you. Yes, you. You surgeon in your scrubs that look and feel like pajamas, sensible clogs on your tired feet. And you freelance graphic artist, with your baggy sweatpants and smudged eyeglasses. Or you yoga instructor, sweat-dampened clothes and hair frizzed out in a messy bun. Even you, kindergarten teacher, sticky fingerprints on your jeans and bits of crayon stuck to the soles of your shoes. And you, wildlife biologist, mud-streaked pants tucked into clammy rubber boots, dirt under your fingernails and braids matted under a woolen cap. 

bronwen jewelry active jewelry hammered stacked rings

Yes, you, all of you. You know what time it is? Holiday party time, that's what. Office parties. Wine socials. White elephant gift swaps. Cookie exchanges. New Years bashes. Fundraiser galas. Family dinners. This time of year defines the phrase "social whirl." And that means it's time for the active girl to get cleaned up.

The good news is that secretly, you don't mind an excuse to dress up every now and then. Because even though you live your life in motion, you know that these times of celebration spent with friends and family are at the core of things you value. And if the price to pay for being on the social circuit is getting fancy, well, who are you to argue? (Besides, you know you look fabulous when you put in a little effort!)

The gals at Bronwen Jewelry--who, truth be told, pretty much live in yoga pants and jeans--offer three tips to other active gals who need to turn on their shining lights during the holiday season.

1) Revitalize that LBD (little black dress) 

Nothing, simply nothing, is a better backdrop for a new necklace than your favorite LBD. Vibrant colors, gleaming neutrals, and the sparkle of silver and gold all stand out stunningly against a black background. Let's face it--you don't need another LBD. You just need a statement necklace (we recommend a Tassel Necklace or anything from our Artisan B line) to make it look like a whole new outfit. Throw on some dangly earrings and a couple of beaded bracelets, and your ensemble is complete.

bronwen jewelry wrap bracelet gold necklace

2) Play with scale

Holiday parties are the perfect time to experiment with scale. Are you usually a post earrings kind of gal? Cut loose a bit and go for earrings that swing gracefully from your ears. Do you gravitate toward the understated elegance of delicate necklaces? That office party might be a good chance to try out the bold beaded necklace you've secretly been coveting. Or if you're already in the habit of wearing statement jewelry, exercise restraint with our Tiny Charm collection of earrings and necklaces. Because good things come in small packages, right?

bronwen jewelry beaded necklace wrap bracelets

3) Try a new you

Are you strictly a silver or gold gal? This holiday season, give mixed metals a whirl. Your tendency is toward neutrals? Jazz it up with some festive color. Not a ring wearer? You'd be amazed at what a little glimmer does for your hands. Think natural fibers aren't your thing? Think again--leather is both rustic and chic. Never take out those tiny diamond studs? Next time try ear jackets

bronwen jewelry wrap bracelet gold necklace

You get the idea? 'Tis the season for a little boldness. You might have to draw on some false bravado as you try out your new look, but we're betting that as the compliments roll in, your confidence will grow. 

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

Made in the USA

11/8/2017 1:01 PM

by Ashley Lodato

When Bronwen Jewelry was just a tiny company operating on a ktichen table in a San Rafael guest cottage in 2007, founders Bronwen Lodato and Michael Rubovits made a conscious decision to make all Bronwen pieces in the USA using artisan materials sourced fairly. It's a commitment they've stuck to over the past decade, despite lucrative options to outsource production to other countries.

This Land is Your Land

At Bronwen Jewelry, we believe in handcrafting our jewelry in a way that that feels honorable and which supports local economies. That means hiring local artists to fabricate jewelry in our Bend, OR studio. It means using gems, stones, and precious metals that are traded fairly and whose purchase directly benefits those who toil to acquire them for us. It means making decisions like the one we made 5 years ago to stop using coral in our jewelry in order to reduce global impact on ocean health, and the one we made to drive change in the gold mining industry by not using "dirty" gold from companies that do not respect human rights or the environment. 

Bronwen Jewelry

We're not alone in this commitment to creating our products in the USA. Some of our favorite companies like Hardtail, Duckworth Wool, Carve Designs, and By Elke Bags share our philosophy about the value of American made products. American made products strengthen our national economy. American made products allow for consistently high quality. And American made products send a message to consumers that their purchases make a difference. Plus, buying American made products makes consumers feel great

We Americans love our landscapes--those spacious skies, those amber waves of grain. Our identities are deeply rooted in our sense of place. Bronwen Jewelry's place-based necklaces (like our mountain, forest, and desert Landscape Necklaces, our 3 Sisters Necklace, and our Tiny Charm mountain and wave necklaces) are a nod to this connection between people and places.

Bronwen Jewelry Landscape Mountain Necklace

We're also a nation of faith, with widely varied interpretations of what this means. And regardless of whether you practice one of the hundreds of religions currently represented in the United States, you're agnostic, or your faith is a private affair, Bronwen Jewelry most likely has a Tiny Charm that will represent your beliefs, such as our Tiny Charm Cross for Christians, our Tiny Charm Elephant for Hindus, our Tiny Charm Heart for those who believe in love, and even our Tiny Charm Lucky U for those who leave everything up to chance.

Bronwen Jewelry Tiny Charm Mountain Necklace

And finally, we're a nation of patriots--a great melting pot of colors, habits, customs, and talents knit together by our belief in the American dream. We believe in the opportunities this country affords us and we understand that we are all tiny pieces in the great mosaic of American society. Bronwen Jewelry's Let Freedom Ring celebrates the belief that through tolerance, understanding, and a shared love of America at its best, together we can uphold the values of this nation.

Let Freedom Ring Bronwen Jewelry

Each year on Veterans Day we are reminded of this commitment to our country, as we think about those who have made the ultimate commitment to our country--a willingness to die for it. Veterans, we salute you. And in your honor, we pledge to respect our country and its people by making high-quality products right here on US soil, from sea to shining sea. 

Bronwen Jewelry Veterans Day

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

Little Stones - Big Ripples

11/2/2017 12:23 PM

by Ashley Lodato

In a world that seems vast, fast-paced, and sometimes anonymous, it's easy to feel as insignificant as a mere pebble. But as we all know, a pebble dropped into a pond sends out surface waves, which ripple out in concentric circles, touching a greater surface area of water than the pebble itself touched. One little stone--one big ripple. 

At Bronwen Jewelry, we are committed to making waves. We know that jewelry itself won't feed the hungry, save the planet, or facilitate world peace (but hey, if it could we'd be right there leading the charge!), but through partnering with organizations that tackle some of humanity's greatest challenges, we are casting our own pebbles into the pond, relishing the ripples they create.

Our latest stone is actually that--a stone. Well, a series of stones, to be accurate. We created our custom adjustable, water-friendly Little Stones Mosaic Bracelet to honor the Little Stone Project, which provides four days of art, education, and inspiration, through film, workshops, and a pop-up artisan market, all in the vibrant and progressive city of Bend, OR.

Little Stones Bracelet

The Little Stone Project's 2016 origins stem from feelings generated by a divided country, political unease, and a dramatic Pacific Northwest winter. The project itself began as a question: "What power does an individual have when national and global challenges seem insurmountable?"

Project organizer Cheryl Parton noticed the way purpose-driven companies and artisans were finding answers to social problems and even affecting larger systems and used this observation to put forth a micro-solution: "What if each one of us activated our passions, talents and skills and directed them toward good even in a small way?"

Upon learning that a recent award-winning documentary film called Little Stones explored this very idea--the notion of using the arts to create social change--Parton was convinced that an event focused on this concept could make waves in her community. And the Little Stone Project was born. This year, the Little Stones film is the centerpiece of the event.

The message of both the film and the Little Stone Project is this: There are many ways to be a little stone in the mosaic of larger social movements. Small actions can create large change in the world. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit Saving Grace, which provides comprehensive family violence and sexual assault services and promotes the value of living life free from violence. Additionally, 10% of the proceeds of Bronwen Jewelry's Little Stones Mosaic Bracelet will be donated to Saving Grace. The bracelets are sold at JuBeeLee in downtown Bend, along with artisan merchandise from other purpose-driven companies.

This is the way we like to work at Bronwen Jewelry: using our creativity and passion to create momentum and foundations for social and environmental change. We are just one tiny stone, but all mosaics are made out of little pieces. Together, we create something bigger than all of us.

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

by Ashley Lodato

Whether you're a longtime or a new customer of Bronwen Jewelry, you're probably familiar with two of our most iconic photos. A woman in a red dress crosses a footbridge with a guitar slung over her back, aquamarine waters lapping beneath her. The same woman in the same red dress, holding a giant red fish, fishing boats bobbing on the sea in the background. This woman is no professional model (although you could have fooled us!) and this place is no custom-built set for a photo shoot. This woman, and this place--they're the real deal, and you can find them in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

Misool Eco Resort

Bronwen Jewelry learned about the woman--Marit Miners--and the place--the Misool Eco Resort--through one of our photographers, Nicole Friend, who discovered Misool while sailing around the world with her husband. The remote physical setting itself is undeniably compelling: breathtaking white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs, an impossibly turquoise sea. Add to that a private island resort and conservation center on an uninhabited archipelago, marine biodiversity unparalleled by any other location on the planet, rustically luxurious Balinese-style accommodations, and world-class dining, and you've got the Misool Eco Resort.

Misool Eco Resort Raja Ampat

Misool Eco Resort

The Misool Eco Resort is the labor of love of its founders, Marit and Andrew Miners, who chanced upon an abandoned shark finning camp on the island of Batbitim while diving in Raja Ampat (on their third date, no less). Inspiration struck, ideas flew, Indonesian elders were consulted, a marriage license was procured, investors were located, builders were recruited and the end result is a secluded island eco-resort in a place that could unironically be called paradise.

Misool Eco Resort

But--incredibly--it's better than that. You see, Marit and Andrew's motives were not simply to build a luxury beachfront escape, but instead to figure out a way to protect and conserve the pristine coral reefs surrounding the archipelago, as well as the 1500+ species of reef fish living in this habitat. The Misool Eco Resort funds this effort. That's right. Income generated by the resort's accommodationsdining, and dive center supports the establishment and maintenance of the Misool Marine Reserve--a 300,000 acre (larger than Singapore!) marine reserve patrolled by rangers committed to curbing rampant shark finning and destructive fishing habits that were destroying the coral reefs.

Misool Eco Resort

Misool Eco Resort

Resort income also funds the other work undertaken by the Misool Foundation, a registered Indonesian charity the Miners founded in order to launch other philanthropic initiatives. Through the foundation, the Miners have been able to:

Misool Eco Resort

Although it is a relatively new resort, first opening its doors in 2008, the Misool Eco Resort has attracted international attention and acclaim. The New York Times has praised it, renowned conservationists and marine biologists practically prostrate themselves at its shores, and in 2017 it won the coveted Tourism for Tomorrow Environment Award

Misool Eco Resort

Although they're based halfway around the world in Indonesia. Marit and Andrew bring Misool's message to North America and other continents through travel and talks about strategizing their unique partnership between business, conservation, and advocacy on behalf of local communities. In fact, on November 2, 2017, Marit will be at the Patagonia Portland event in Oregon: a fundraiser to protect the world's richest coral reefs. Along with Emmy award-winning filmmaker and Misool board member Shawn Heinrichs, Marit will talk about the challenges of building Misool and the opportunities and partnerships that lie ahead. 

Misool Eco Resort

And speaking of opportunities, we can't pass on this chance to mention that guests at Patagonia Portland will have the opportunity to win a 7-night trip for 2 people to stay at the Misool Eco Resort. And even if you can't attend the event, there are a limited number of pre-sales raffle tickets available here, while supplies last. Oh yes, that's what we're talking about. 

Self-described "divers, conservationists, eco-geeks, and dreamers," Marit and Andrew have achieved just what we at Bronwen Jewelry admire: they took a vision and turned it into a reality--and one that's doing good for the planet to boot!

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry


10/4/2017 11:29 AM

by Ashley Lodato

If you've never heard of cause marketing, you're not alone. But if you believe you've never been the audience for a cause marketing campaign, think again, because cause marketing is all around us.

Now wait a minute--what is cause marketing anyway?

Cause marketing, or cause-related marketing, is an agreement between a business and a nonprofit to raise money for a particular cause. Billed as "win-win" situations, cause marketing allows the nonprofit to benefit financially and the company to benefit by increased sales and by the cache of being seen as socially responsible and interested in the same causes as its customers. 

American companies began embracing cause marketing in the 1980s, after American Express raised $1.7 million to help restore the Statue of Liberty in one of the first large-scale cause marketing campaigns. During this legendary 3-month campaign American Express donated a portion of all purchases to the restoration fund, sales rose 27%, and new card applications were up by 45%. And the iconic statue was restored. 

Although some were cynical about the marriage of philanthropy and commercialism, other American companies followed suit, finding nonprofits to partner with in order to be seen by stakeholders and customers as "doing well by doing good." You may be aware of some of these efforts: Coke raising $3 million for polar bear conservation through the World Wildlife Fund and its Arctic Home campaign; Reebok giving $500 million to breast cancer research and prevention through Avon 39. 

You may not, however, be quite as aware of Bronwen Jewelry's cause marketing. We are a pretty small company and have not raised millions to support the causes we believe in. (Yet.) But still, it's important to us to invest a portion of our business income into organizations whose missions support our values. We like to put our money where our hearts are, so to speak.

Take, for example, our partnership with the Hera Foundation, which seeks to eliminate ovarian cancer. Bronwen gives the foundation 10% of sales of our Hera Lotus Necklace, which we designed specifically for the foundation. We also support EarthWorks' No Dirty Gold campaign, which drives change in the mining industry's human rights and environmental practices.

Many years ago we stopped using coral in our jewelry designs and joined prominent jewelers such as Tiffany & Co. in coral conservation awareness through the Too Precious to Wear campaign. And we support the Bend-based WorldMuse, which inspires women to create positive social change from within. WorldMuse connects women to their own sense of purpose as well as to eachother, and provides the tools and support they need to create positive change in their lives, in their communities, and in our world.

One of our favorite causes is the Conservation Alliance. Located right here in Bend, OR, the Conservation Alliance engages businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. It's the 1989 brainchild of leadership at REI, Patagonia, The North Face, and Kelty, who wanted to increase outdoor industry support for conservation efforts by funding community-based grassroots campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat.

In fewer than 30 years, the Conservation Alliance has:

  • contributed over $15 million to grassroots conservation groups throughout North America
  • helped save more than 45 million acres of wildlands
  • protected 2,972 miles of rivers
  • helped stop or remove 28 dams
  • designated five marine reserves
  • and purchased 11 climbing areas

All this, largely through funds contributed by member companies who believe in the alliance's mission. Bronwen Jewelry is a proud sponsor of the Conservation Alliance; we feel great knowing that our jewelry sales help protect the wild places that call to us and inspire us.

The unique thing about Bronwen Jewelry is that cause marketing efforts like our partnership with the Conservation Alliance are simply added value for our fantastic products. Our highest priority is making gorgeous jewelry with integrity. We want our customers to buy our jewelry because it's beautiful, built to last, and makes the wearer feel and look great, not because we donate to social and environmental causes. You purchase an artful, high-quality product from us for the sake of the item alone, and a happy by-product of that transaction is the satisfaction we all get out of the environmental or social give-back. 

There are other small things we do at Bronwen that help us feel like citizens of the planet. We use swim suit fabric scraps from Carve Designs in our Swim Wrap Bracelets, for example, and we work exclusively with silver casting companies that use a percentage of recycled silver in their products. We employ local artisans to handcraft our jewelry and we treat them like the valued members of the team that they are. We use only fairly-sourced and traded materials in all of our products.

At Bronwen, we like to think of all of our relationships--whether with employees, customers, vendors, or organizations that we sponsor--as connections that are mutually beneficial and mutually satisfying. They're our most valued alliances: the ties that make us all stronger.

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

Wear Bronwen Like a Pro

9/27/2017 11:31 AM

by Ashley Lodato

No matter how many posters, glossy ads, billboards, sides of city buses, or magazine inserts we see; no matter how many radio ads we hear; no matter how many Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, or other social media campaigns we view--we're still all most receptive to the most primitive form of advocacy: word of mouth. 

As we imagine it, ever since the first cavewoman grunted to the other cavewomen and pointed to the sisal fiber she'd woven into a cord and tied around her neck with a shiny piece of chert dangling from it--and the other cavewomen rushed out to braid their own sisal necklaces--we've all been relying mostly on those who we respect to give us indications about the things we might like to have, eat, drive, sleep on, ride, and wear.

Kim Havell skiing

And what do we like to wear? Duh, Bronwen Jewelry, of course. And we've yet to find a woman who disagrees with us. Whether you're an athlete, a scholar, an artist, a scientist, a stay-at-home mom, an entreprenuer, a politician, a medical professional, a fashionista, or a lady who lunches, you probably know that there is something flattering for your ears, fingers, neck, wrists, and even ankles right here, at Bronwen Jewelry.

But reaching our wide range of potential customers takes resourcefulness. That's why we're launching our ProMember Search, as we seek women who can help us showcase and promote our brand. We're looking for qualified and approved athletes and outdoor professionals, fitness and wellness leaders, fahion and/or travel writers and bloggers and other lifestyle industry individuals that have a passion for Bronwen Jewelry and the enthusiasm--and commitment--to spread the word. 

Lindsay skiing

A great example of word of mouth advertising occurred in the Bronwen studio in downtown Bend just last month. Ultra runner Krissy Moehl (pronounced "mail") stopped in while passing through Bend. This gal competes in--and usually wins--100+ mile races like the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance run. And guess what? She's almost always wearing active jewelry when she does it. 

Krissy is coming on board as Bronwen's newest ambassador; you'll read all about her next month. She's a wonderful model of the type of woman who we're looking for in our  ProMember Searchshe's living her passion, she's hard-core as well as compassionate and introspective, and most of all, she's happy to share what she's doing and what she's learning with those who follow her.

Krissy Moehl running

Now, you don't have to run 100 miles, or even 1 mile, to represent Bronwen. You just need to do something that gives you some public visibility and puts you in a position to offer--you guessed it--word of mouth promotion. If you've got followers or an attentive audience, you might be just the person we're looking for. We think it's a mutually beneficial partnership. We provide you with jewelry you love, and you provide us with visual and written testimony about how much you love it. 

To find out if you qualify for Bronwen's ProMember program, visit our ProMember Search page. Let's find out if we can collaborate. 

Now while we have your attention, we can't resist directing your attention to some of our new artisan jewelry pieces. Fall is in the air and everyone is all crazy about tangerine this and pumpkin spice that. We know what goes just perfectly with those earthy fall colors: gold and jewel tones. Dress up that marigold sweater with a Jade Cobra Wrap Bracelet and a pair of gold Semplice Earrings; accent that amber frock with a Prayer Flag Necklace and Tiny Charm Lotus Earrings. Your gaze may be on the honey and butterscotch colored autumn leaves piling up outside, but everyone else will be looking at you and your own fall display. 

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

by Ashley Lodato

These are a few of our favorite things: Olivia Hsu. Yoga. Climbing. Smith Rock. Active jewelry. So when we hear that we can find all of our favorite things together in one place at one time, well, we kind of get a little bit giddy.

Olivia Hsu Climbing

Such will be the situation on the weekend of Sep 29-Oct 1, when Bronwen Jewelry ambassador Olivia Hsu hosts a "She Moves Mountains Climbing and Yoga Weekend" for women at Smith Rock, a high-desert Central Oregon climbing mecca. The path of totality passed right over Smith Rock at the end of August, but nothing else will eclipse this fabulous chance to bend, breathe, stretch, reach, pull down, mantle, pinch, smear, laugh, and generally have a totally rad time with a group of other women.

Olivia Hsu climibng

Climbing with women is an empowering experience. On the rock, women tend to offer support and reassurance, as well as gentle encouragement to push one's pre-conceived notions of fear and boundaries. In a sport that was for decades dominated by men, an all-women's climbing group says both "you go, girl!" and "we're here to stay." Whether you've never experienced the joy of climbing with other women, or you participate regularly in all-women climbing trips, the She Moves Mountains clinic has something to offer you. For more information about the yoga and climbing weekend with Olivia Hsu, visit She Moves Mountains

Bronwen and Olivia have been connected for many years, through Olivia's contributions as a Bronwen ambassador (she was our first!). It helps that Olivia shares Bronwen's passion for yoga and climbing, and it sure doesn't hurt that Olivia's gorgeous looks are a perfect canvas for Bronwen's gorgeous earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. But we mostly love Olivia because she is both a badass and a down-to-earth gal. She's adventuresome yet rooted, energetic yet tranquil. Olivia is inspired, and interesting, and interested, and is just plain fun to be around.

Olivia Hsu Climbing

Olivia is an awesome role model for young girls; she's sensible and fearless, she's focused, and she lets nothing arbitrary hold her back from living the life she envisions or from achieving the goals she sets for herself. And like young girls, Olivia enjoys showing a little Bronwen gleam of silver or gold while she's balanced on some of Smith Rock's volcanic welded tuff or jamming her hands into its killer cracks.  

Although rings and bracelets aren't always the most climbing-friendly pieces of jewelry (our soft and durable Swim Wraps and Ribbon Wraps are an exception, however), much of Bronwen Jewelry seems like it was tailor-made for a day on the cracks. Ummm...because it was.

For a bit of delicate sparkle, put on a Tiny Charm Necklace for women or for girls, or choose your favorite Tiny Charm Earrings. Any necklace from our Active Jewelry line is conducive to a day on the cliffs; we know--we've tested them all! We haven't yet proven that wearing a Bronwen necklace or pair of earrings helps you climb any better, but we know we feel better--more confident--when sporting a little bling, and as anybody who has ever been on a rock face with sewing machine legs knows, confidence is everything in climbing.

Olivia Hsu Climbing

If you're not a climber and you come to enjoy Smith Rock's many beautiful hiking trails, you're in for a treat. Not just because you get to explore the varied terrain of the park's 650 acres, but also because you can wear any piece of Bronwen Jewelry you want! You'll be the envy of other hikers when they see how seamlessly you pair hiking shorts and a quick-dry shirt with some colorful bracelets or shiny rings

Smith Rock State Park

Forgive us if we go on and on about Smith Rock, but we really love this place. On any given day you might find climbers on the rocks, kayakers surfing waves on the Crooked River below the crags, slackliners dancing across thin webbing high in the air, and hikers, mountain bikers, runners, and horseback riders exploring the many trails that wind through the park's riparian area and high bluffs. There are endless ways to experience Smith Rock.

In 2012, a massive streamflow restoration initiative (the largest in Oregon's history!) restored 190 cubic feet per second of streamflow to the Crooked River, which had long suffered from poor water quality and a degraded ecosystem. This initiative strengthened the region’s agricultural economy while permanently improving conditions for fish, wildlife, and recreation.

This project isn't the only one to benefit the Smith Rock area. Since 1993, the Smith Rock Group has been hosting an annual Smith Rock Spring Thing, where more than 200 volunteers work to replace wooden steps, rebuild rock walls, clean out water drainage on trails, repair fences, prep for bike parking areas, pull weeds, and work in the camping area. In times of increased use at Smith Rock, work parties like the Spring Thing help keep Smith Rock stable, tidy, and beautiful. 

We hope to see you at the She Moves Mountains Climbing and Yoga WeekendAnd since you'll be in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by our Bronwen Jewelry workspace and retail shop in downtown Bend. We're in a sunny second-floor studio at 55 NW Minnesota Ave. We look forward to your visit.

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry


9/4/2017 10:03 AM

by Ashley Lodato

Every year, various family members connected with Bronwen to embark on a week of whitewater bliss on the Salmon River in Idaho. Starry nights, sandy beaches, columnar basalt, songs around the campfire, and lots of tom-foolery characterize the trip. Oh, and jewelry. Because every person setting foot in a raft or on a stand up paddleboard sports at least one, if not two or more, pieces of Bronwen bling, either new or vintage.

stand up paddlers

Jewelry? On a trip where you're almost always wet, sweaty, sandy, or all three? Yes indeed. At first glance, a whitewater river trip is no place for jewelry. The chances of tarnishing, scratching, ripping, breaking, or flat-out losing a beloved necklace or bracelet are just too great.

But don’t hesitate to take a second glance, because so much of Bronwen Jewelry is so at home on sandy banks and frothy waves you might think it was designed as river-wear. And you’d be right. Because at Bronwen Jewelry, we know that you like to bring a little color, shimmer, and gleam along with you on your expeditions, and we had you and other river-runners in mind when we designed water-friendly pieces like our Tiny Charm necklace collection and our Swim Wrap line.

dew drop necklace

Our Tiny Charm necklaces are sweet and functional: lightweight yet strong and sweat/swim/sand friendly. You won’t notice them around your neck as you row, paddle, or swim through Snow Hole rapid, but they will certainly catch others’ eyes as they glint gold or silver against your skin. Tiny Charm necklaces are one of Bronwen’s most popular items and that’s no surprise, since they are perfect for water play and riverbank camping. They’re no-fuss, must-have pieces of active jewelry that look great and hold up admirably on river adventures both large and small.

petite b necklace

And speaking of both large and small, our Tiny Charm necklaces are available in two lines: for women and our Petite B line for girls. Which is a good thing, because once those little girls see the big girls wearing jewelry and looking so tough rowing those rapids, they're going to want some of that pizzaz for themselves. So if you’re the Thai Diamond or Om Shanti type and your daughter likes Mermaids and Unicorns, you can both get your needs met with Tiny Charm necklaces. Or wear pendants of the natural elements or spirit animals you expect to see on your trip: Fawn, Bunny, Shooting Star, Luna.

tiny charm unicorn

When we’re on a river trip, we feel most like ourselves. Unencumbered by the small stresses of daily life, we are free to be our best selves. We’re interested and interesting. We’re patient, tolerant, generous. There are no to-do lists driving our agenda on the river, no emails to check, no bills to pay. We’re able to be the people we believe ourselves to be. We don’t worry about our matted hair or our grungy clothes; we embrace the simplicity river life imposes on us.

swim wrap bracelets

jewelry that makes you feel like yourself

And yet…..something in us still yearns for a bit of sparkle and panache. So we clip on those Tiny Charm necklaces and enjoy the touch of femininity they give us. We’re not afraid to admit it—whether we’re raft guides or just friends out for a whitewater adventure, we can row the big waves of Bodacious Bounce and Half-and-Half rapids and haul river gear like a badass, but we still like to feel like the women we are: strong, confident, competent, and just the tiniest bit girly.

isis Necklace

Our Swim Wrap bracelets are perfect for women who seek a bit of flair in their days on the river, but who need their jewelry not to get in the way of the oars or the stand up paddleboard. Created from excess fabric of Carve Designs swim suits, combined with decorative sterling silver, these soft active bracelets are fully adjustable and every bit as water-friendly as a swim suit. (And, in a pinch, they double as a really fun ponytail holder!) Wear the Swim Wraps alone, layered with an Active Bracelet like a Switchback Wrap or Waterweave, or simply stack as many vibrant, soft, comfortable Swim Wraps up your arm as you can fit! But be careful; these bracelets look so great you’ll find yourself watching your own wrists instead of the river ahead.

river jewelry

As anyone who has ever done a river trip knows, a veritable mountain of gear is involved. But jewelry takes up such a tiny amount of space in your dry bag, and gives you such pleasure, that you can pack it without a second thought. For the rest of your gear—your dry bags, PFDs, wet suits, SUPs—turn to the friendly folks at NRS, who have outfitted more than a handful of river runners with Bronwen Jewelry connections.

river trip jewelry

A week on a river reminds us of those times of unfettered freedom prior to kids and mortgages—those days of seemingly huge swaths of free time, of the discovery of wild places, and the people we could be in those places.  Before and after river trips most of us are fairly mainstream adults. We’re parents and community members. We serve on nonprofit boards and volunteer at our kids’ schools. We are jewelry designers, freelance writers, small business owners. We’re fortunate; we all love what we do. What we do, however, is not who we are. Our jobs feed our families, but river expeditions feed our souls.

Isis necklace

 River jewelry

* Minor portions of this blog post were excerpted from an article previously written by the same author in Samata Magazine, Three Generations SUPing on the Salmon, V2N4, December 2015.

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

by Ashley Lodato

Fall is coming and it's time to get out your favorite jackets. EAR JACKETS, that is!

Ear jackets

The gals at Bronwen Jewelry started wearing ear jackets a couple of years ago and we just can't get enough of them. They're edgy. They're bold. They're comfortable. And it turns out that other women love them just as much as we do.

ear jacket bronwen jewelry

In a time of super-trendy jewelry, Bronwen's popular ear jackets stand out for their originality. Inspired byancestral Mexican and Native American designs, these ear jackets feature the art and symbols of early civilizations and indigenous people of the Americas, Africa, and East Asia.

ear jacket erin toltec

"What is an ear jacket?" you may be asking yourself. Ear jackets are an innovative earring designed to be worn as a post on the front of the ear and a jacket on the back of the ear. Like this. An ear jacket combines the elegant simplicity of a post with the avant-garde pizzaz of a dangly earring, for more sparkle, more interest, and more fun. 

Speaking of fun, at Bronwen Jewelry we're all about fun--climbing, hiking, boating, biking--you name it, we do it. So we're delighted when our jewelry accommodates our activities. We've found that most bracelets aren't great on the crags (glass beads and hand jams are not a fair match), but ear jackets are an entirely different story, says Bronwen ambassador Olivia Hsu, who spends about half of her waking hours, it seems, on the sharp end of the rope. Olivia has found that ear jackets are not only practical accessories on the rock face, but they also stand up to a jump in the lake at the end of the day. 

ear jacket

As you pack for your final summer adventure, don't forget your bag of Bronwen's active jewelry necklaces and bracelets, and the accessory that is sure to become your next favorite: your Bronwen ear jackets. If you're a Toltec girl, you'll love these replicas from Mesoamerican culture. Or perhaps the regal Pharoah is more your style? Few women, we're finding, can resist the intricately whimsical Thai Daisy. With a dozen designs to choose from--plus your choice of 5 post types--you're sure to find the ear jacket that suits your style as well as your activity. 

Ear jackets by Bronwen Jewelry: they won't keep you warm, but when you're wearing them you'll glow all day long.

ear jacket bronwen

Posted in Blog By Bronwen Jewelry

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