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Handmade Jewelry | Handmade Takes Time | GLDN

Written by GLDN Team — October 04, 2022

Handmade Jewelry | Handmade Takes Time | GLDN

Peek behind the GLDN curtain for an inside look at our handmade-to-order process, our values, our materials, our partners and more—and how it all shapes up into a sustainable practice we stand behind with pride.

We always, always, always aim to hold ourselves accountable and strike the perfect balance between what’s best for our customers, what’s best for our people and what’s best for our world (which takes a bit more time than your typical mass production process!). But we know it’s all worth it…and then some.


Chrissy, GLDN founder, working on jewelry designs 

Step 1: Design

Where the magic begins.
Our GLDN rule: inspiring connection and delight with every single piece we make—bypassing fleeting trends in favor of timeless, custom, personalized pieces you’ll love for a lifetime (and pass down to the next!). Mix-and-matchable styles are a big priority for us, too—like chains with swappable pendants, hoops with add-on charms—so you can own fewer pieces and switch up your look without the constant need to refresh your entire collection.

Our pieces are all designed in-house at our cozy La Conner, WA studio with our founder, Chrissy, at the helm of our design decisions—just like it was when we started 10 years ago! As you can imagine, there’s a lot of workshopping before we nail each new piece or collection…but, as our saying goes, good (handmade) things take time.


Left: stamped disks on table | Right: GLDN workshop


Step 2: Sourcing

Choosing the right materials.
Once the design’s nailed down, it’s off to source high-quality materials that last (so you can love your pieces forever and always). 90% of our materials are recycled, 95% are sourced domestically and all of our materials are sourced ethically.

We’re currently working towards full traceability from mine to retail (a huge challenge in the current jewelry industry). In the meantime, we only source materials from suppliers who’ve been audited and certified for following ethical practices, prioritizing those from the Responsible Jewellery Council—a global network of suppliers committed to environmentally, socially and financially ethical sourcing.

As for our scraps, all of our leftover metal from production is either sent to a refinery (to be melted and reused) or kept in-house and given a second life in new pieces to prioritize sustainability, minimize waste, lower our carbon footprint and do our supply chain a solid. We’ll even have special sales throughout the year featuring returned or leftover pieces (that are just as good as new!) to make the most of our excess.


Left: Assembler cutting chain to size | Right: maker pulling stamping tools


Step 3: Crafting

Making your pieces with love.
90% of our pieces are handmade completely in-house; the other 10% are made with the help of our partners who specialize in super-precise techniques—like setting tiny stones or crafting earring hinges—that we don’t currently have the tools to create in our studio.

Just like our material sourcing, all of our production partners are part of the Responsible Jewellery Council and have committed to responsible management, fair living wages and hours, safe environments and diversity, equity and inclusion in their workforce!

One piece of jewelry = so many moving parts, and we couldn’t do it without all hands on deck.

  • Fabrication:
    Each piece of jewelry starts small! Our fabrication team crafts the tiny components in our jewelry to be used by the rest of the shop.
  • Metalsmithing:
    Next, our master metalsmiths finish earrings and rings—a tedious, impressive craft that takes practice to execute flawlessly (and flawlessly they do).
  • Stamping:
    Then, each tiny character—from initials to symbols—is carefully aligned and hand-stamped onto each piece to spotlight your special story.
  • Assembly:
    All together now: a team of talented folks close jump rings, wrap wires and ensure every component is perfectly placed before it heads to packaging (and makes its way to you!).


Left: packager holding box for shipping | Right: packager writing custom gift note


Step 4: Packaging

Wrapping each piece with delight.
Last but not least: enveloping your jewelry in streamlined packaging so pretty, it’s a keepsake in itself—with every component designed by us in-house. Our boxes are made here in the USA, and our letterpress goodies are printed by our founder’s dad using recycled or dead-stock paper! Tucked inside each box are care cards and polishing cloths to keep your pieces shiny and tarnish-free (so you can wear your collection on repeat).

We’re currently working on a recyclable mailer; once it’s finished, 96% of our packaging will be recyclable (something we’re pretty giddy about).

All that to say: True delight doesn't happen overnight.

From our makers to our care team, hundreds of people unite to make every piece right—and we couldn’t do it without your patience and support for our craft. Thank you endlessly.


GLDN workshop poster that says "You do not find the happy life, you make it"


Our Current Order Timeframes

(Find specific estimates within each listing, too!)

Handmade to Order

Ships in 10-17 business days*
Shop personalized pieces.

Handmade Ahead of Time

Ships in 1 business day
Shop ready-to-ship pieces.

*Please note: timing subject to change based on order volume and holiday rushes. ❤️

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