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Meet Peggy Houchin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peggy Houchin.

Peggy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From a young age of 5 years old, my creative journey began with my first design that sold! I designed and crafted these cute little fish from fishnet, fish eyes and beads. My mother took them to work and sold 10 of them for .50 cents each. I was hooked.

However, my desire to express myself with my hands began prior to that. You see, my parents were Deaf and I was their voice. Sign language was my first language so communicating for my parents and being able to express came through my hands.

They signed to me from the beginning. I didn’t know anything besides their hands. Hands were everything to me. My father was incredibly talented with his hands. He could create anything! I learned from him how to build things, fix things, repair things. He didn’t rely on his hearing but he relied on his touch.

I’ve always needed to create. From there, my creative passion continued into sewing and entering competitions and even making all my own clothing.

Moving to Colorado changed my life forever. Being at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, living on a small ranch and riding horses was a dream come true. All the while, I continued to pursue my passion for creativity.

I was so fortunate to take some silversmithing classes from an older gentleman who taught me the basics and from there I took off. I also learned lapidary from an older woman and the ideas for combining my love for these two mediums began to merge.

Being close to incredible rock shows and rock hounding has cemented my love for rocks, color and jewelry design. Inlay jewelry is my passion! I feel like I’m painting with rocks.

I credit my unusual childhood with giving me resourcefulness, courage and creativity, and there’s not a thing about it I would change. At the same time, many of the details of my upbringing astound even me!

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?
2019 has been my best year so far and I doubled my sales from 2018. However, that took a lot of work. I had to reinvent myself from a marketing standpoint. I’ve been making jewelry for over 25 years and my designs have progressed and changed over that time. Being a one woman show is a challenge because I have to wear many hats. Juggling all the responsibilities like design, production, marketing, shows, stores, website updates and everything that comes with running a business is challenging.

This past year, my husband really jumped in and started working with me in the shop and I also hired more administrative help.

It hasn’t always been smooth but I feel like I’m really in an excellent place now with clearer goals, branding, repeat customers and great stores. I’m definitely looking forward to 2020.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a Jewelry Designer and my business is Peggy Houchin Jewelry. I do a lot of custom jewelry designs and sell my work in 4 stores in Colorado and Wyoming.

The inspirations for my designs come from my love for all things western, rocks and color. I get so excited when I think about the possibilities of combining stones into gorgeous jewelry. I feel like I’m painting with rocks because I work with so many different types of stones – dinosaur bone, turquoise, spiny oyster, coral…you name it. Inlay jewelry is my passion and I look forward to every piece that I make. There are so many beautiful colors in Dinosaur Bone and the cellular structure gives wonderful contrast in inlay jewelry.

My inlay work is what I”m best known for and especially my work with Dinosaur Bone. Agatized Dinosaur Bone is basically fossilized bone from Dinosaurs or other creatures that roamed the earth about 160 million years ago! The cells are replaced with quartz and the color in bone is from minerals and impurities that surrounded the bone in the soil. Colors range pastels to black with yellow being the most sought after and most valuable.

Most of the best bone has been collected in Utah and Colorado, however, it is illegal to collect on State or Federal lands.

I’m most proud of my custom work and I feel that that is what sets me apart. I spend a lot of time working closely with clients to make sure they are understood and are part of the design process.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m looking forward to 2020 especially with all the work I put in place in 2019. I made a LOT of changes in 2019 and I feel that I was successful with the new changes. I’m planning to continue with the work that I did in 2019 and more focus on existing customers.

I doubled my sales from 2018-2019 and hope to continue to increase my sales in 2020.

Pricing:

  • Prices range from $150-$1200 depending on stone selections
  • Custom designs will depend on the individual piece

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rae Ann Garrett, Photographer

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