Name of business: Birch Handcrafted Wearables
Type of business: Handcrafted jeweler
Location: www.birch-handcrafted-wearables.com; Available at DIGS, 310 E. Main St.
Contact information: 209-606-1273
Specialty: Goldsmithing, turquoise patina, verse pendants
History of business:
Since the age of five, Birch Handcrafted Wearables owner and designer Anne Kapor has always loved to create things. While it began with simple tasks, such as making her own Barbie house out of a cardboard box or forming clay beads with her brother as children, Kapor’s artistic talent has now blossomed into the world of quality jewelry, forging intricate pieces from unexpected materials that to others may seem like useless pieces of scrap.
“I really like simplicity, and I like having things that are unique that not everyone else is going to have,” said Kapor. “There’s a different level of appreciation when it’s something that a person actually made with their hands, as opposed to being cut from a machine.”
Making jewelry began as an escape for Kapor, and over time the hobby has become therapeutic, she said. When her friends noticed her talent, they encouraged her to show her work during at-home gatherings and the business began to flourish.
“It went amazing, and I was in awe of how well it went,” said Kapor. “It kind of just took off from there.”
As the granddaughter of a former demolition worker, Kapor had an array of different scrap metals to choose from when she first began making jewelry, creating minimalistic pieces from materials like corrugated steel, brass and copper, which she continues to use today.
“It was fun to challenge myself to use what was readily available while also recycling,” said Kapor. “But, I also make fine jewelry, from 14 karat gold pieces to jewelry with semi-precious stones.”
The Birch Handcrafted Wearables collections includes everything from earrings, bracelets and necklaces to custom-made pieces such as Kapor’s ever-popular verse pendants – necklaces which feature an engraved Bible verse of the purchaser’s choosing. Fifty percent of the pendants’ sales go to the Turlock Pregnancy Center, said Kapor. She also accepts orders for other custom pieces, like the three-stone engagement ring she is currently designing for a customer.
“As a person that makes jewelry, that is the highest compliment I could receive,” she said. “To be asked and considered to do something so special, and that people enjoy my work enough to reach out, that is so incredibly humbling.”
Handcrafted jewelry is popular in Turlock, and Kapor and many other local artisans strive to support each other.
“I think it’s really cool that we have so many different jewelers in town because we all have something different to offer and we all have different styles,” said Kapor. “It’s fun to encourage each other and admire each other’s work.”
Birch Handcrafted Wearables can be ordered online or can also be purchased at DIGS in Turlock. Current collections may also be viewed on Instagram, @birch.handcrafted.wearables.