The Callie behind the Co.
Have you ever loved something so much, it became an obsession? And no, not the creepy, borderline-stalking, kind of obsession, I mean in the passionate, live-for-it kinda way.
This is how I feel about traditional turquoise jewelry. And how I’ve found myself in a home studio (in sweatpants and a messy bun, no less), curating gorgeous Native American works of art and sending them to you - so you can experience the joy (and slight obsession) with traditional turquoise jewelry, too.
My mission, as a third generation artist, is to design and curate expertly crafted, high-quality pieces of Native American jewelry that make you feel like you’re part of something special. Each time you slip on your favorite Calli Co. item, you’re actually wearing a little piece of history. My hope is that my pieces will become the keepsakes and memories you’ll hold forever, to be woven into the fabric of your own heritage and passed down from your generation and beyond.
This is my history…
Where it all began
My love for traditionally handcrafted jewelry started as a little girl. Even though I was born in Texas, I spent much of my childhood in Southwestern Colorado where my grandfather owned a hotel. The hotel was North of the Navajo nation and when the Navajo traders would make their route through the U.S to sell their wares, they’d stay at the hotel and pay us in jewelry and handmade crafts. Being exposed to these incredible pieces at such a young age created a connection to Native American craftsmanship that has lasted my entire life.
I also grew up overlooking my uncle’s silversmith bench. If I was lucky, he’d let me scrub the grime and polish off of the finished jewelry pieces. As you can imagine, I felt like pretty hot stuff being involved in that process - further inspiring my obsession, though it didn’t manifest until many years later.
Despite the family ‘roots’, I never learned to silversmith as a child. In fact, the opposite happened. I grew up, got a degree from Oklahoma State and worked in accounting for 7 years.
Then I had an idea. A pretty wacky idea. I was going to go to law school.
But first, I wanted to take 6 months off to spend with my 91-year-old grandmother (who lived with my husband and I) and as a hobby, begin to silversmith. The desire to learn was always there, I’d just never had the time. Besides, I wanted to learn so I could make custom pieces for myself.
So I quit my job, set up the tools in my garage and started smithing.
Fast forward 2 years and Calli Co. Silver is my full-time gig. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a business. And law school isn’t remotely in the picture.
Lifelong obsessions have a funny way of leading you to where you’re supposed to be in life. I gave up an entire career to take a little leap, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. This isn’t just a job for me, it’s my true passion.
But there’s a problem - silversmithing is a dying art.
It’s something that’s not taught anymore, families aren’t passing it down like they used to and unless you inherit your tools or trade, the opportunities to learn just don’t exist now.
Plus, it’s not glamorous work. Despite working with beautiful stones all day long, I’m working with flame torches, hazardous chemicals and gas. I get burned and I get dirty. For most kids of this generation, watching their parents or grandparents do this kind of work doesn’t appeal to them as a career or trade. Sadly, so many artists are dying before their children carry on the legacy.
That’s where you come in.
By buying from Calli Co., you’re keeping this traditional art and history alive.
And because I work with sterling silver and genuine stones, these one-of-a-kind pieces will last a lifetime. You can get married in them, celebrate major milestones in them, or spend any old day in them - that’s the beauty of Calli Co. Silver.
By elevating the art and the trade of this industry, I feel like I’m making a difference. And you are too.
So, what makes Calli Co. Silver different?
Because smithing runs in my family, I know precisely how pieces are constructed and I know what to look for. If it’s not impeccably-crafted, I won’t sell it to you - it’s as simple as that.
My knowledge of turquoise mines also gives me the ability to tell what’s legitimate and what’s not. I’m a stickler for quality with unmatched attention to detail, so you can trust my expertise and transparency when making your purchase.
I also don’t photoshop or filter my jewelry images because authenticity is really important to me. There’s nothing worse than receiving something you’ve spent your hard-earned money on, only to be disappointed that it looks nothing like the picture.
With Calli Co. Silver, what you see is what you get.
The Callie behind the Co.
Calli Co. Silver was founded out of pure love - my love for the stones, the craftsmanship and the rich heritage that exists in every fiber of these pieces. All Calli Co. pieces are handmade, each one unique and full of character.
Also, no piece can be exactly duplicated because the human hand can’t repeat things like a machine can - so consider yourself the proud owner of something distinct and timeless.
There isn’t a team of employees powered by passion (and lots of coffee) working to bring you these one-of-a-kind pieces. It’s just me. I’m the curator, the designer, the silversmith, the customer service rep, the shipper, the marketer, the web designer, the business manager… basically the Captain of this “One-Woman Hot Mess” express.
When I’m not in my studio (which is rare) my husband and I are home in Texas with our mini Aussie fur babies.
And in case you were wondering about my 91 year old grandmother, she still lives with us and still working part time. Crazy, right? She climbed the corporate ladder decades ago and paved the way for the ladies of my generation. Ever heard of the little Texas-based cosmetics company, Mary Kay? My sweet Meme has been with them since the very beginning (when they were selling cosmetics out of a 2-car garage in Dallas) and is still to this day, an Executive Senior Director. I owe everything I am to this sassy, little West Texan firecracker! She’s my best friend, heart & soul and the greatest role model I could ever ask for.