Waylon Rhoads Fusion Concepts at Nashelle Jewelry
If you have ever been to my shop in downtown Bend, the first thing you'll notice is that my place is kind of hard to find. It's in an upstairs suite, behind a tea house and a bakery. It's not a traditional jewelry store. It's my glorified work studio in a centralized location. I have a small display area, a small meeting area, and a decent size work shop. It was never my intention to have a retail location. I wanted to take that baby step out of my house, but not go full on retail. The initial costs of such an endeavor would surely bury my efforts to be an independent jeweler. I feel like I did the right thing, even though it does have obvious set backs. The complete lack of a store front deprives me of the impulse buyer, the last minute shopper, and the never ending stream of tourists visiting my beautiful city. Luckily, I have a friend who understands where I am coming from, because she has been there. Her name is Heather Nashelle.
Heather owns a successful jewelry company here in Bend, Nashelle Jewelry. She started doing jewelry in her basement studio about 16 years ago, and now runs a company that has national recognition. She has her own TV show, has a cosmetics line, two retail jewelry stores, a manufacturing shop, the wife of her best friend, and is the mother of six adorable children. Heather is ambitious with her business goals, but also understands the importance of caring for those in need, by providing nearly 500,000 meals with the proceeds of her jewelry sales!
Earlier this year, Heather contacted me for a custom job for her. She liked what I was doing with silver and gold fusion, and discovered that she needed some stacking rings for her fingers. I was happy to create those for her!
After completing this set of stacking rings, we began talks about having my jewelry featured in her Old Mill location. Since March of this year, I've had a nice selection of my "Fusion Concepts" jewelry in that store. The Staff there has been very enthusiastic about the line and have done well to ensure that I can continue creating this exciting line of jewelry. Heather has helped me actualize my hard work and creativity by allowing my work to be in front of her fans. When artists work together, they can achieve so much more than they could alone. That is a lesson she learned early on in her career. It's a lesson she is putting in to action with me, and it's a lesson that I will continue to pass on with those who are striving to become the artists they have always wanted to be.
The next time you see yourself in Bend, be sure to visit all the great things going on in the Old Mill District, especially all the cool things at Nashelle Jewelry, including my unique silver and gold fusion jewelry! You will be happy about it for sure!