Emily Gustafson Breathes the Spirit of the West 9

Wild Feather and Stone Jewelry

One of the best aspects of Carbondale’s Mountain Fair is purchasing a one-of-a-kind craft from the artist who made it. Wild Feather and Stone jewelry by Emily Gustafson presents such an opportunity. The author of this article purchased a leather bracelet with a freshwater pearl and chalcedony quartz, and then went back to buy matching earrings.

Gustafson’s designs are truly unique, and trendsetters who wear her jewelry can revel in knowing that she made her pieces right here in Carbondale.

This Roaring Fork Valley native has turned her high school hobby into a successful business. Gustafson’s journey into the jewelry business began way back in 2006 when she was a senior at Basalt High School. Emily saw a picture of a wire-wrapped ring and said to herself, “I can make one of those.” Soon enough, friends wanted to buy her rings.

Then her mom’s co-workers in Aspen scooped up her jewelry for Christmas presents. Next, Gustafson started making her own jewelry designs, and before she knew it, her business had snowballed.

As Emily headed off to Colorado State University, she continued running the company while studying apparel merchandising and business. Wild Feather and Stone is now over ten years old, and it continues to thrive. Gustafson recently purchased a home in Carbondale; her garage will become her jewelry studio.

Emily’s jewelry breathes the spirit of the West. Her palette includes gemstones and carefully chosen leather, along with other recycled and naturally-sourced materials. Over the years, friends have also given Gustafson materials to incorporate into her wares, items ranging from deer antlers to bullet casings.

You can follow Gustafson on Instagram to see her latest creations @wild.feather.and.stone. Her jewelry can be purchased on her website, WildFeatherAndStone.com, in local retail stores and at the Aspen Farmer’s Market.

Emily says that the Aspen Farmer’s Market has “opened the door to the rest of the world” and helped her make connections. The buyer for the television show Private Practice purchased her entire line recently. Keep an eye out for her gemstones on the actors!

Wild Feather and Stone jewelry can also be found in numerous fashionable stores throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, such as Trove and Elizabeth Dean Boutique in Glenwood Springs, Midland Clothing in Basalt, PE 101, Tlin’s Shoes and Shakti Shala in Aspen.

Gustafson comes up with her designs herself and is entirely self-taught. Last year, she took her first metalsmithing class in Aspen to expand her skill set.

Gustafson runs all aspects of Wild Feather and Stone herself, from creation to sales. She finds motivation and inspiration through a wonderful community of fellow jewelry designers on Instagram. Emily notes, “We comment on one another’s creations and support each other’s efforts.”

Gustafson is interested in taking Wild Feather and Stone to the next level and knows that means that it’s time to involve others. “I am learning that it is OK to not do everything on my own,” she says. To help her on her journey, she has reached out to a firm in New York City to assist her with marketing, public relations and social media.

Emily’s thriving company is full of the soul of the Roaring Fork Valley, and it’s exciting to see a high school dream fulfilled. Emily shares her love of Colorado through her designs, and the rest of the world seems to love them as much as we do.