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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.