Walking into WEND Jewelry is a lovely respite from the buzz of our busy city streets. The strategically placed lighting, the natural wood, and the moss-filled displays are a breath of fresh air – not unlike the great outdoors in which Wendy Woldenberg finds inspiration for her unique, handmade jewelry. Her walls are filled with creations, like photography and pottery, by other local artists which she gladly highlights during the monthly Second Thursday West Seattle Art Walk.
“Being part of the Art Walk has been a key part of my business,” stressed Wendy. “I decided to open my doors for the first time on an Art Walk night which has brought me increased foot traffic every Art Walk since.”
“Being part of the Art Walk has been a key part of my business” Founder Wendy Woldenberg, WEND Jewelry and WEND Space
Inspiration from Nature
Wendy started making jewelry over 30 years ago – 22 of those years were spent sharing her passion as a high school teacher. And then one day she was invited on a backpacking trip, something she hadn’t done in well over a decade. During her outing in Mt. Rainier National Park, she began to see a way to create jewelry using nature as her backdrop. Her earth-inspired designs led her to open her own studio in West Seattle just over a year ago. Two of her collections highlight tree roots and tide pools which can include USA Lab-Grown diamonds, if desired.
Besides creating original designs, she particularly enjoys collaborating with customers on heirloom makeovers. Customers with treasured family jewelry share their stories and ideas to help Wendy redesign a piece with a fresh approach. All WEND jewelry is gender-neutral and many couples find their perfect engagement or wedding rings in the current collections or by working with Wendy to create a new design.
A love of nature has inspired Wendy to use only certified recycled metals in all her designs to offset the harmful effects that gold mining has on the planet. To further support nature, some of her profits go to environmental sustainability organizations like the Washington Trails Association and Wild Aid, which works to end wildlife trafficking.
Wendy’s devotion to the Seattle community runs deep. For instance, she helped start the hugely popular, Art Under $100 non-profit art show that highlighted Seattle artwork and pottery that, until 2019, ran for 15 years. She now uses her own business to engage with the community by offering moss art and astrology-focused jewelry classes. She also provided a welcome Pandemic break to West Seattle neighbors by utilizing the outdoor courtyard next to her studio to host low-cost yoga classes.
With this love of community, it’s no surprise that Wendy was recently given an Honorable Mention as Coolest Jewelry Store by the national jewelry magazine, INSTORE. She was also featured on Seattle’s Evening Magazine last year.
WEND, which is an ancient word that means a long, winding journey, is a cool spot for West Seattle, too. You can visit WEND Jewelry on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 3278 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, 206-590-7800. See her website for her social media line-up which includes process videos and interesting client stories. You can also get on her mailing list to “follow her journey so she can become part of yours.”
Business Spotlight Author: Nancy Standifer