Not much has changed since Carrie Schafer founded Original Hardware 18 years ago. That is, of course, aside from adding countless trendsetting collections like Statement Chain and Shimmer, which add sophistication to popular styles. What began as a creative outlet during Schafer’s corporate executive days soon morphed into a full-fledged jewelry company—one where Schafer and her team of female artisans still run the show.
Jewelry That Does Right
The name itself pays homage to the quality of the pieces: one-of-a-kind and built to last. Handmade from the finest ethically and sustainably sourced materials, Original Hardware is a joyful rebellion against contemporary mass production. All sterling silver is 100% recycled, diamonds are conflict-free, and lab-grown gems are finding a permanent place in the brand’s repertoire. “We want to do right by the planet and by people,” Schafer says.
For Women, by Women
Original Hardware has something for everyone. From delicate 14k gold earrings studded with diamonds and dripping with opals to rustic necklaces inlaid with striking gemstones, every piece is the eclectic sophisticate’s dream. Schafer, who designs every piece herself, relies on hands-on experimentation in lieu of sketching. “It’s typically very fluid and organic and not always deliberate. I usually let the creative process take over and ask myself how I can create pieces that tell a story,” Schafer says. The pieces are then crafted in the downtown Littleton store’s in-house workshop or Schafer’s home studio. Her “small but mighty” team of women jewelry makers hail from a myriad of backgrounds like fine arts and business, all of which culminate in collaboration fueled just as much by passion as by talent.
Schafer talks about her team and her customers with the same enthusiasm she has when discussing her latest collections. “Customers entrust us to mark special occasions in their lives. It’s such an honor to be part of that. And that comes back to my team, who make it all possible.”