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Meet Mariele Ivy of YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS in RiNo & Santa Fe Arts District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariele Ivy.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mariele. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As the daughter of a wooden boat builder & an avid gardener, my works have always been inspired by the symbiosis of humans & their environment. Born and raised in Western Montana, I SPENT MY EARLY LIFE IN THE RIVERS AND THE WOODS, exploring and creating art inspired by my beautiful surroundings. It was in a 1920s barn turned wooden boat studio that I created my first jewelry piece at the age of 5. A thin blue ribbon strung through an oyster shell, simple and natural, a harbinger of what was to come. I learned from a young age that BEING AN ARTIST ISN’T JUST ABOUT PRODUCING WORK, ITS THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE. After studying anthropology and fine art at university, I moved from the mountains of Montana to spend time in the eclectic seaside city of San Francisco. I established my first design studio in San Francisco Bay Area where I created work that reminded me of what it was like to be YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS. Where you listen to the seasons changing, to energize your aesthetic and mood. Where THERE IS ONLY ROOM FOR SIMPLE, PURPOSEFUL & INSPIRED DESIGN & everything else is gone with the shift of the breeze.

I since have studied silversmithing in northern MEXICO and taught lapidary at GHOST RANCH in the American Southwest. The desert is a constant source of renewal and inspiration for me. You can see the influence of the Southwest in my pottery and jewelry.

YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS now calls the Rocky Mountains home again. This time in Denver Colorado where I opened a 900 sq ft showroom and studio.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life is not a smooth road. I would describe the process of turning a talent into a career as more of a long uphill hike. Where the trail is full of switchbacks and steep inclines followed by bits of downhill coasting and boulders in the way. You just keep moving forward. Whatever you do move forward.

I always knew I wanted to work for myself, as it was encouraged by my parents from a very young age. I was familiar with the trials and process my entire life as I watched my dad run his own business creating drift boats. He worked from home, so the client interactions were always visible to me as a young kid.

Money was a constant struggle in the beginning. I built my business from the ground up. It’s been in a state of constant evolving and the growth always happened even without money. Being an artist is about finding possibilities everything. Money is not required to find possibilities, in fact, I felt more creative without money. It made me more aware of my surroundings and relationships because I need to use them wisely. With the introduction of money as my business became more successful, I didn’t have to try as hard to solve problems since I had a new resource.

Being an artist can be lonely but in that loneliness you have so much time to think and plan. If you look at your struggles as opportunities you will be stronger and more successful. There are so many ways to learn, but one of the best is to use your struggles and challenges as opportunities.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Young In The Mountains creates jewelry that people use to signify their love. Every day I say that I get goosebumps. It’s a very special thing to create a piece that will be the physical representation of love.

YITM also offers an entire collection of earrings, necklaces and rings for any day. Engagement jewelry has become serious focus over the last year, but in addition to that, we also create jewelry for more casual events and celebrations.

Lapidary, or art of cutting stones is our specialty. I have been making jewelry for 12 years and once I added the new skill of lapidary to my repertoire, I was able to find a niche in the wider jewelry trade. My art is always evolving, but with the ability to cut stone gives me a tremendous pallet of materials to choose from and bring into my jewelry. I have access to stones that other jewelers do not because I am sourcing them in a more unique and responsible way.

I focus on American Mined stones in particular because the circumstances that traditionally surround mining can be horrendous. By purchasing my inlay materials from miners I meet directly, I can ensure my clients that no child labor was involved or that the funds of the mining were never used to support conflicts or war. The miners I meet are happy, rock-loving passionate people who love what they do. They are curious and have often come from generations of miners. Choosing materials from states myself and my clients have actually visited or lived in makes the jewelry all the more special. I am proud that I can be a leader in using not only recycled gold and silver with conflict-free diamonds, but also locally sourced inlay material.

What were you like growing up?
I was a builder and an adventurer. I grew up rural near a river and spent a lot of my time unattended just bushwhacking and exploring the river bottom. I had started selling things young to my friends and my classmates. I always had projects and have been good with my hand since I was really little.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Our store is located inside the MODERN NOMAD COLLECTIVE at 2966 Larimer St, Denver CO.
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @younginthemountains

Image Credit:
Photos by Danielle Puschak

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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