12 Days of Shopping Local # 7

A couple of years ago for Christmas, Alan went to b.shannon designs and had a necklace and earrings  custom made for me by local jewelry designer and business owner Brooke Sutphin. What an unforgettable gift, and something I will always treasure! For the 7th Day of Shopping Local, let’s take a look inside her beautiful store.

Items at b.shannon designs run the spectrum from traditional…

… to the very unique, and at a broad range of prices, too. You might find a $2,600 pair of earrings sitting next to a $65 pair of earrings, depending on the rarity of materials involved and the process for creating them.

Most of the items on display are things that Brooke has made, right there in her historic building at the corner of Jefferson Street and 1st Ave. She works with silver, gold, and platinum, and all stones across the board: diamonds, sapphires, semi-precious, quartz, and more.

What she really thrives on, though, and what she’s known for, is sourcing and creating jewelry from stones that are lesser known. “I’m really into the unusual: druzy quartz, Louisiana opal, pink spinel, things that people haven’t really heard of,” she said. “Nobody really hears about pink or red spinel.” As the granddaughter of a jeweler, I have to agree. I’d never heard of any of those! But they are absolutely stunning.

A question about holiday hours elicited a big laugh from Brooke. I think she must live in her studio at Christmas time! And whenever she is there, which is every day, the doors are open. Officially, her Sunday hours during the season are noon to 4:00.

Although we’re getting close to the big day, Brooke does still have time to work on some types of custom creations, especially those that she fabricates entirely at the shop. “Yesterday I made two things while the customers went away and came back for them two hours later,” she said. There is a certain point where she will say she can’t get it done by Christmas, and it’s probably too late to create a cast piece. But if you have a stone you want to present or an older piece of jewelry that you’d like to have updated, there are still some options available. Having the recipient in on the process is also an idea, and might help buy you a little more time.

Don’t wait too long, though, or the selection will dwindle! Brooke said that last year she had a steady stream of guys purchasing gifts all day long on the last two days before Christmas, and they just about cleaned out the store.

In addition to her own creations, there are some stainless steel items for sale that she orders in. I see a cute Husky paw to the right in the photo above! Also, she uses extra space in the store to showcase the work of other artists. She has pottery for sale, made by a husband and wife team from Arkansas that she has known since she was very young, and the wood bowls are made by local artist Greg Eveland.

She also features some photography from a friend who is an associate professor of photography at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, wood boxes from another artist in Kansas, and watercolors made by a friend from Germany.

 I think the bottom line here is that if you want something really special to give this year, b.shannon designs is a great place to go. Nothing like a little sparkle for the holidays!

“On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… something bright and shiny

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