By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
Carbondale is home to many artists and craftspeople known throughout the state, country and beyond for their distinctive creations. The town is also home to a pair of five-star-rated jewelry designers/retailers – Harmony Scott, and Colby June Fulton.
Harmony Scott and Colby June (as her company is known) are both full-time jewelry designers with galleries and work spaces in town, as well as prominent internet presence and retail outlets beyond Colorado’s borders. They also employ several local residents to help make their designs a reality as needed, operate their retail operations, and travel to trade shows.
Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, although this article goes beyond gift buying tips. Here are brief profiles for each designer.
When many Colorado mountain towns are undergoing chain-store upscaling and de-funkification, does it get any better than this? One of the first impressions eastbound visitors have of Carbondale when they drive in on Main Street is Harmony Scott’s 100-plus-year-old Victorian house with colorful 15-foot Balinese banners flying outside. A visitor stepping inside the gallery on Monday morning would first be greeted by the friendly but low-key shop dog, Tibet, a grey standard poodle. Then comes store co-manager Claire deL’Arbe with her equally welcoming smile. At one time, Harmony Scott also operated a retail shop in downtown Aspen along with her one at Second and Main streets in Carbondale. Escalating rents and other factors combined for Scott to consolidate her operation in Carbondale.
“We made a choice to be here,” deL’Arbe explained. “People travel (downvalley)” to visit Harmony Scott. (Modafinil) Bob Dylan plays on the store’s sound system.
The main gallery, in what was formerly the house’s parlor, showcases Scott’s designs with antique bases and other backdrops. She works with natural pearls and gemstones, set or wrapped in sterling silver, 22kt gold vermeil, or 18kt gold. Scott chooses each gemstone and pearl for quality, color and perfection.
Scott was raised in Hawaii and Aspen, and began making jewelry in a cabin on the backside of Aspen Mountain in 1998. In 2001 she moved into the house on Main Street that she eventually converted to her shop and work space. By 2002, demand was outstripping her ability to personally create each piece. That’s when she partnered with a small group of Indonesian artisans near Ubud, Bali. She now makes two trips a year to Bali to design new pieces and to work with her artisans.
Over the past 18 years, Scott has grown her clientele to the point that some have become collectors of her work. Some collectors want to update their pieces, or might want to replace an “old boyfriend” piece, so Scott recently started her ReGem program. This program offers clients the chance to trade in gently used Harmony Scott jewelry for credit towards new Harmony Scott jewelry. For details, go to harmonyscott.com.
Colby June is located at 1136 Colorado Ave. (between Jo Body Pilates and Crystal River Spas). She grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and started learning about designing and making jewelry in a class in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in Hispanic Studies in 2000. After earning a MA in counseling psychology, working as a school counselor and giving birth to her daughter Perry in 2010, she turned to jewelry design. Working mostly with precious metals like gold, silver, and bronze (as well as the occasional gemstone for an unexpected splash of color, Colby June’s pieces are organic and simple in shape — many resemble delicate twigs, leaves, grass blades, or water-polished stones, according to her website.
“(My) jewelry is both an ode to the wild outdoors and a testament to the underlying structure and balance in nature.”
Sales manager and assistant Amanda Redmond comes from Minnesota via DePaul University and has worked for Colby June since 2012. Colby June and Redmond recently just returned from a gem show in Tucson, Arizona. “It was really fun,” Redmond told The Sopris Sun during a visit to Colby June’s shop. “There were gem dealers, designers and collectors from all over the world.”
New for Colby June – an engagement line named Wed (which is trademarked). Teaming with HM Jewelry of Basalt, who will make the pieces, Colby June is working with recycled silver and gold, and Canadian diamonds. “They are unusually shaped and colored,” she said. “We’re super excited.”
For details on Colby June’s line of jewelry, design philosophy, retail outlets and more, go to colbyjune.com.
Published in The Sopris Sun on February 9, 2017.