Jewelry By Johan has come a long way from its garage days.
If you look at the products sold by Jewelry By Johan, one word would come to mind: glamour. Which is why you might be slightly shocked to discover that the “jewelry reimagined” company originated in a garage. In 2008, Johan and his son-in-law Kevin sold handmade wood rings on Etsy, which they produced in their own garage. Fast forward more than a decade, and Jewelry By Johan is operating out of a 10,000-square-foot building in Oakdale, Minnesota with a staff of 33 jewelry designers, production members, and customer service representatives.
“[We make] nearly anything imaginable using our materials or yours…unless it’s a biohazard. We’ve been approached to make a kidney stone engagement ring, and that was a no-go! We have a good selection of in-stock jewelry at our design center, but most items are made-to-order right on-site. We specialize in engagement rings and wedding bands, but we also create necklaces, earrings, gauges, bracelets, watches, cufflinks, and much more,” says Johan’s daughter and Jewelry By Johan manager, Leanne Kolodziej.
Despite common belief, Kolodziej says the customized jewelry making process is actually not all that complicated. “Basically, tell us what you want and it’s likely we can do it. If you don’t know exactly what you want, we’ll help you figure it out. We can customize any item you see in our design center or on our website (e.g. change the metal type, gemstone, inlay material, etc.). We can also handcraft an item you have found at a different jeweler exactly the same (many times for a lower cost), or with changes that better suit your style,” she says.
And they offer full-service, custom design services, including CAD and casting, to create a completely one-of-a-kind item. For all three options, Kolodziej says she strongly suggests starting the process by making an appointment for a free, in-person design consultation with one of their design experts. Bring in your drawings, photos, or simply tell them the ideas you have, and she says they will help you bring them to reality.
“We offer customers so many unique, natural materials that very few other jewelers do, specifically meteorite, fossilized dinosaur bone, naturally shed deer antler and 100+ hardwoods, including whiskey barrel oak wood and many exotic species. Jewelry by Johan can also craft memorial jewelry using the cremains of a lost loved one (pet or human),” she says. “We work in nearly every metal, both alternative and precious. Best of all, we allow our customers to supply their own sentimental materials (e.g. guitar strings) and gemstones (e.g. diamond from grandma’s engagement ring) for incorporation into their items.”
Kolodziej says they help any couple find the perfect piece to match their unique love. They have worked with many local GLBT couples to create custom engagement rings, wedding bands, coordinating promise rings, and more. Earlier this year, she says they partnered with The Wedding Guys for the Cupid’s Couple Giveaway and donated custom wood wedding bands to their winners, Liz and Ang.
“For ANY couple looking for the perfect piece of jewelry for a special occasion or everyday wear, we
strongly suggest identifying what styles, materials and gemstones you love AND, more importantly, what you hate (or can’t wear due to an allergy or other reason),” Kolodziej says. “Because we offer so much flexibility with materials and the design options, knowing this can significantly expedite the design process for both the couple and our design experts.”
Also, Kolodziej says to always plan ahead because their made-to-order jewelry typically has a turn-around of 4 to 6 weeks, depending on materials and design complexity.
Perfect for Pride: check out Jewelry By Johan’s rainbow wood ring.
For more information, visit jewelrybyjohan.com.
Jewelry by Johan
553 Hayward Ave. N., #200