By By Alyssa Tufts, Tribune Staff
East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Ariz.)
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Cassie Uhl is a great example of someone who dipped her toes into the water of women entrepreneurship by opening a jewelry store on Etsy. The online marketplace allows people from around the globe to buy and sell their handmade goods. Her success in e-commerce has led to the opening of a brick and mortar location in Tempe.
Providing a tranquil state of mind through spirituality and inspiration is just one service Zenned Out jewelry offers.
Founder Cassie Uhl started her Etsy shop in 2011 before moving Zenned Out to a brick-and-mortar location in Tempe in 2014. The jewelry you’ll find at Zenned Out is different from other local businesses–every piece is individually crafted and handmade in the Tempe location.
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“We are completely handmade, we’re women-run, so everything is going to be handmade by a woman who may have the same hopes, desires and dreams you do,” Uhl said. “You can kind of feel the energy of that piece,”
Zenned Out creates and sells bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings. They’re all customizable with over 300 designs and over 150 type styles and symbols to choose from, including zodiac, runes, animals, religious affiliations, stars, hearts and more.
Creating the jewelry is an art in of itself. Uhl said every letter has to be individually stamped if it is a quote, then there are different finishes to be added. Uhl said each piece takes two days create.
Zenned Out is not just another local boutique. It is one of the only ones in the state to use sustainable practices for their pieces. This includes recycling their metals and sourcing them in the U.S.
Aluminum saves more than 90 percent of the energy required versus producing new metal, and it can be recycled without losing quality.
Uhl said that although aluminum is the top seller, customers can also choose from brass, copper or sterling silver.
Zenned Out also uses recycled materials for packaging including jewelry boxes, tissue paper and cards. Uhl also recycles the scrap metal.
“We live in such a throw-away society. Whenever I go into jewelry stores like Charming Charlie or Claire’s, I physically tense up a bit,” Uhl said.
“When you purchase something handmade, it’s like a treasure, something you’re going to have forever, it’s not something you’re going to throw away,” Uhl said.
Zenned Out Jewelry focuses pieces on spirituality, inspiration and well-being. Those concepts are transferred onto the jewelry in quotes or mantras. “Breathe” and “Be here now” are popular customer choices, in addition to inspirational messages such as “Be a voice not an echo,” and “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”
As part of Zenned Out’s mission to help women feel positive, inspired and connected to their spirituality through their jewelry, Uhl writes and sends out a newsletter and posts information about healing topics or practices to a blog weekly.
“I want to be a place for people to feel welcome, who have these alternative spiritual beliefs. I think giving that platform really helps bring the right customers to us,” Uhl said.
One of those customers is Stephanie Riel. She’s been a customer since meeting Uhl at a networking event in fall 2015. Riel said she has purchased mostly bracelets and bangles, since they are her favorite jewelry to wear.
“I love supporting local businesses, definitely female-owned businesses,” Riel said. Being a local businesswoman herself, Riel said she was captivated to learn about how Uhl creates her jewelry and what inspires her.
On June 6, Zenned Out will be launching a new e-commerce site and will undergo rebranding. All the products will be available for purchase online, so customers can more easily purchase the jewelry according to their specifications.
“Something that’s so personalized and handmade and comes from the heart, you feel a little bit fancy wearing it,” Riel said. “Being able to know the cause behind it and the passion behind it, that’s much more special.”
To learn more about Zenned Out jewelry, visit zennedout.com.