Recently, there has been a trend toward permanent jewelry. Though the word “permanent” can evoke some anxiety, permanent jewelry is nothing to be afraid of. It simply involves a claspless necklace, bracelet, ring or anklet that is custom-fit and welded back together. Three local brands – LINK x LOU, Love Saro and Dainty Permanent Jewelry – weighed in on why this trend came to be and why permanent jewelry is a sustainable option for those looking for a keepsake with longevity. Inspired by jewelers in other cities or simply by pandemic-induced needs for a creative outlet, these three brands offer something unique: jewelry that also provides a personal, intimate experience.
LINK x LOU
When LINK x LOU founder and CEO Jordan Louis was “fully considering” flying to New York for a piece of permanent jewelry, she knew she was on to something. She had seen a bracelet on a friend, from “the OG of permanent jewelry,” NYC-based brand Catbird, and couldn’t find anything like it closer to Denver. Working as an esthetician when COVID hit, Louis found her answer when reading a women’s entrepreneurship book. Louis explained, “the book said, ‘when there is a problem and no solution, that’s your business.’ That’s when it hit me. The whole vision of what is now known as LINK x LOU could become, came at that moment”.
She began building her business immediately. Louis explained that her brand is meant for “truly anyone and everyone, but especially for those who value simplicity and sustainability.” She also really wanted to create an experience for her customers, so they come away with not only a new piece of jewelry that they care about but an experience they can remember.
The LINK x LOU “Linking” process works like this: customers select their chain from one of six different options of 14k white or yellow gold. After deciding on a bracelet, anklet, ring or necklace, a trained “Linker” will custom fit the piece. After setting the chain, the Linker then welds the ends of the chain together, creating the permanence of the piece. Louis explained permanent jewelry has “layers of sentimental values. Think modern friendship bracelets, a chain for each child, bridesmaid gifts, a family bonding piece, the list goes on. It’s basically a shinier version of a tattoo for many”.
According to Louis, permanent jewelry is a sustainable practice, offering a longer-lasting option in a world of almost disposable costume jewelry. She uses sustainable jewelry practices and precious metals in an effort to make a minimal impact on the environment. To Louis, this means LINK x LOU produces “forever pieces, not poorly-made, low-quality jewelry that will be thrown out after a few wears.” LINK x LOU pieces are meant to be worn daily, are solid gold – not gold-filled or gold plated – and are inherently non-toxic. These practices prevent LINK x LOU from wasting resources and allows them to contribute to the global focus on sustainability in the jewelry industry. “We are proud to recycle our scrap metals and stand behind a product that is pretty on our wrists and easy on our planet,” Louis explained.
Louis believes the popularity of permanent jewelry is due to the fact that it offers not only a solution to fast fashion jewelry but an impactful, sentimental experience. There is meaning behind every step of the LINK x LOU experience. By creating a custom-fit, claspless piece, the customer is making a series of decisions that apply to them and only them. “Our jewelry doesn’t require removal or any additional upkeep because the intention is for it to last as long as you want it to, unlike traditional jewelry” she explained. “Whether serving as a daily reminder, a gift from a loved one or a friendship bracelet shared with a sibling or family member far away, the sentiment is always there – permanently”.
When asked about the future of the brand, Louis explained that she does have expansion plans – Los Angeles, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Seattle and Oahu are on the list – but her focus remains on who LINK x LOU is as a company. “My hope is that we maintain the reputation of our passion for connecting not only the ends of our pieces to make them permanent, but also our communities, local businesses, and friends and family.”
To work with LINK x LOU, follow the brand on Instagram to make an appointment for a private party or solo session or attend one of their pop-ups.
Boulder-based Love Saro was born, like many brands, out of a need for a creative outlet. When co-founder and designer Sacha Jarmon had come out of her own isolation on a long maternity leave, she was thrown into another shutdown, this time in early 2020. She found herself doing a lot of beadwork late at night after her children went to sleep. Jarmon started photographing her pieces on her artist mother’s marble sculptures and noticed that the jewelry and sculpture paired well together and the idea for Love Saro was born. The brand was a way for Jarmon and her mother to “create and connect, together and in our community, especially at a time when we are needing it and craving that human connection more than ever before” she explained.
The Love Saro permanent jewelry process starts with a measurement to determine most comfortable fit for bracelets, necklaces or anklets. Then, the Love Saro team helps customers select design elements including solid 14k and 18k gold and sterling silver chains, precious and semi-precious stone charms and more. The team then microscopically welds the cut chain link back together on the customer with technology that is barely visible to the naked eye and doesn’t touch the skin. It’s a safe, easy process and the end result is a “piece of permanent jewelry, designed for forever wear”, said Jarmon.
For Jarmon, Love Saro pieces are meant to be shared and experienced together. “It is a unique and memorable way to celebrate relationships, milestones and everything in between,” she said. “Because of the shared experience aspect and because you cannot remove it, it is always with you. It’s a special reminder of that shared experience.”
Jarmon is actively working on sourcing more sustainable materials for her stones and chains, but it’s an area that she’s looking forward to building upon. She explained that because the brand is small, it naturally has a small footprint – and it intends to keep it that way. Overall, the attention to high-quality materials and permanence of the jewelry inherently makes Love Saro a sustainable brand.
Jarmon is proud of the growth she’s seen in these first eight months since Love Saro’s official opening. “As we are approaching a semblance of new normalcy as a society and weddings and gatherings are coming back, we would love to be more involved in that space. Our permanent jewelry concept is a perfect way to celebrate intimately with the bridal party, or for guests and really add sparkle to these celebrations with a valuable gift that lasts forever,” explained Jarmon.
To shop Love Saro’s jewelry, make an appointment to stop by the Boulder studio or shop on the website. Love Saro also does private events and can host in its studio or make house calls. For more information on Love Saro’s pop-ups around Colorado, follow the brand on Instagram.
Love Saro is located at 2555 49th St Unit 3, Boulder and is open Sunday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., by appointment only.
Dainty Permanent Jewelry
For Dainty Permanent Jewelry owner Holly Cummings, permanent jewelry can be more sentimental than traditional jewelry because it is a piece that’s meant to be worn for a longer period of time. Cummings also thinks of it as a way to define your own personal style. In fact, that’s what inspired her to create the brand. “I was inspired by Catbird, an amazing jeweler in New York, and Atelier VM in Paris. I’ve always been about simple, yet sophisticated style,” she said.
For Cummings, sustainability is an ever-present value when sourcing her materials and thinking about quality. Dainty Permanent Jewelry only uses lasting materials and high-quality 14k solid gold for permanent bracelets and non-permanent rings. “I didn’t want something that people would want to take off, or wouldn’t continue to make them smile when they see it on their wrist,” she explained. Inherently, permanent jewelry is sustainable, because, as Cummings described, “we are creating a long-lasting, high-quality product that is not worn and discarded after a short period of time.”
In discussing the growth in popularity around permanent jewelry, Cummings believes it’s due to the minimalist jewelry trend. She explained that her products are meant for anyone who wants effortless style every day. “I hope this feeling resonates with anyone who has a busy lifestyle and does not want to have to think about it. It goes wherever you’re going,” she said. As social lives begin to pick up and calendars begin to fill, it might be nice to have one less thing to worry about.
For now, Dainty Permanent Jewelry is only available by private appointment or at local pop-ups around Denver. Wherever your appointment takes place, the process will be the same: customers will select their 14k chain, have it sized custom to their wrist, and with a “quick zap,” it’s permanent until “they don’t want it to be,” explained Cummings.
As a native of Colorado, Cummings looks forward to building out her business on her home turf. Of course, she wants to continue to grow her business but doesn’t want to sacrifice the brand or the mission by expanding nationally. Her explanation is heartfelt, “I want every customer to get the same level of service, and I want to know your story! When you set up an appointment, I’m the one who you’ll be working with and I think that would be difficult to achieve with a significant expansion.” Cummings explained how grateful she is for the support her brand has received and she enjoys meeting “each and every one person who comes to us.”
To schedule private appointments or find out where Dainty Denver will hold their next pop up, follow the brand on Instagram.
After speaking with all three founders, it was interesting to note that not only did the pandemic birth and sustain these brands, the trend toward this type of jewelry grew as well. After a year (plus) filled with uncertainty, it appears many of us are looking for a little permanence in our lives. Permanent jewelry also offers an experience. As a refreshing departure from direct-to-consumer, mindless online shopping, all three of these brands offer house calls and encourage bringing people together to share in an experience.