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Seattle Jeweler Finds Inspiration for Designs in Pacific Northwest Scenery

The first wedding band Wendy Woldenberg made was her own.





Wendy Woldenberg opened her West Seattle retail store and studio WEND Jewelry on Earth Day 2021 after teaching jewelry design to high school students for 22 years. Her jewelry collections are inspired by nature, while her focus is on sustainable materials and business practices. A member of Ethical Metalsmiths, Woldenberg melts and reuses customers’ gold for their new pieces, uses lab-grown diamonds from U.S. labs, post-consumer recycled diamonds and Montana sapphires. She also offers in-store classes on a wide range of topics from embroidery and building a succulent terrarium to yoga. Plans for an anniversary party included a salt tasting.

Q&A with Wendy Woldenberg

What do you like about Seattle?

I like the water and the mountains and the green and the fresh air and it’s nice jumping off place for travel. With the mountains you can see them most places that you are. You’re looking at them or you can go to them. I come from Chicago, which was really flat so I enjoy the heights.

What is rewarding about your retail operation?

I get a lot of tears of joy when someone can actually wear Grandma’s ring as a different piece. It’s very satisfying for me.

I enjoy meeting people who live in the neighborhood of West Seattle. West Seattle is cut off because our bridge went down in 2020 and it’s a bridge that supported 125,000 cars a day. So nearly everyone who has come to the store have been neighbors and they have been very supportive.

Are you open for walk-in business?

I’m open three days a week and I get maybe 75 percent of my business from people who have somehow walked in or done a class and maybe 25 percent from friends and friends of friends. I’ve been posting a lot of heirloom renovations or makeovers and getting people who want to melt down jewelry into something new. One Saturday I was working at the bench and a woman came who had driven three hours from Oregon because she saw my heirloom makeovers, and by the end of the appointment we had designed three pieces of jewelry from what she had.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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