Give Garity Hathaway a few stainless steel washers, some chain, a rock or two and some gemstones and she can create treasures a dog collar that is different from every other dog in the neighborhood, a baby bracelet that no one else has, even industrial-strength jewelry for a tough biker.
Or she can create fashionable necklaces and bracelets for an entire wedding party that will be the envy of bridesmaids everywhere.
She will take a CTR ring and a length of leather and make a keepsake for a boy's baptism or fashion a unusual Binky pull for a toddler.
All it takes is some time, a lot of imagination and the beading skills Hathaway picked up from a jeweler friend.
"I enjoy doing this," said Hathaway. "I can spend a lot of time on a piece, and if I don't like it, I'll take it all apart and do it over. I don't mind."
Hathaway, of Orem, and her mother, Jan McEwan of Highland, have a business they've built out of their interest in unique jewelry and they're starting classes at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi in the Holdman Art Studios for those who want to make their own original pieces.
People interested in designing a necklace or a bracelet or a pair of earrings that's a one-of-a-kind can sign up, pay for the materials and learn a new skill.
Hathaway and McEwan will offer advice, hands-on instruction and the opportunity to buy gemstones, chain, whatever a customer wants, from their impressive inventory.
"We started with trunk shows and a Web site," McEwan said, "But we've found people like to see the pieces, handle them, try them on. This is a business that grew from a hobby."
Hathaway became interested in designing jewelry after her daughter Kaia was born.
"I wanted to create jewelry just for her," she said. "She's five now and she'll go down and design her own jewelry."
Friends and family members noticed her work and asked her to make pieces for them.
A biker friend stopped by and asked her to create something for him. The result is an industrial line of necklaces and arm band bracelets for guys that include heavy chain, large washers and solid steel rings.
Hathaway likes a lot of bling but also clunky pieces with a lot of different textures and different sizes.
McEwan likes gemstones and pewter.
"We bring two different attitudes. We do have similar tastes but we're not alike," said McEwan.
"We make jewelry when we get inspired," McEwan said. "We have to be inspired, by a season, an environment. We don't just sit down and make something."
Whatever the design or occasion, the pieces are unique, even from one another.
"We won't do any two alike," said Hathaway. "We may do a dozen purple bracelets for a wedding party but each one will be a little different from the others."
The jewelry is high quality with no base metals. The pieces come with a lifetime guarantee as well.
"Ours won't wear through," said McEwan.
With over a thousand pieces for sale, in yellow, jade, red, purple, blue, brown, even wood, one thing is for sure.The two women never leave home without a striking piece of jewelry.
To sign up for a beading class:
E-mail: [email protected]