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She’s A Gem

adornedbynomad Adorned by Nomad Artists Boulder Boulder's Best Gift Shop Catherine Phillips Colorado Community Fine Jewelry Gift Shop Gifts Handcrafted Handmade Jewelry Store Made in Colorado Partners

Once upon a time, a little girl growing up in the American Midwest liked games of pretend.  There were the usual ones, of course, but one of the things that she and her sisters most liked to pretend was “store”.  These girls never did (do) anything by half, so their stores were fully imagined.  There was merchandise, a system used to arrange and track things, and a checkout station.  The presentation would be beautiful, the goods appealing, the decoration of the store beckoning.


Knotted Natural Pearl Necklace by Catherine Phillips

When that little girl grew up, she made that dream come true.  First, she conquered the bead world in Boulder, Colorado by joining forces with Jake March and Nomad Beads in what she calls ‘her retirement’ business.  But she had another dream too.  She wanted a jewelry store.  She wanted a jewel box of a place in which to display all the beautiful things that she imagined.

Catherine Phillips_Moonstone Necklace

Knotted Moonstone Necklace by Catherine Phillips, Shown here in Adorned

Well, we are lucky enough to be living in the time and place where she made that dream come true.  Adorned by Nomad is the product of the imagination, business acumen, organizational drive, and sheer force of will of Catherine Phillips.  She has had help and input from other people, that’s true, but the buck (or the gemstone, rhinestone or pearl) stops at her desk.  She is a very benevolent dictator.

Natural Pink Coral Necklace by Catherine Phillips

Natural Pink Coral Necklace by Catherine Phillips

Catherine has worked in a number of industries.  She has an MBA from Yale, and she worked for corporations, mostly, all her life.  During the tech bubble and all that went with that, Catherine made jewelry and other art as a way to relax.  And, as anyone who is a beader, or who knows one, beads have a way of accumulating themselves in your life.  When she was making jewelry at the hobby level, she frequently shopped at Nomad Beads, then on Pearl Street, where the Buffalo Exchange is now.  Jake and his Mom owned and ran Nomad, but Jake’s mother decided that she wanted to retire from that business.  And Catherine wanted to retire to it.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Partners of Adorned by Nomad

The Partners of Adorned by Nomad – Catherine in White, Jake in the rear

Adorned was a glimmer in Catherine’s eye for a while before it acquired its brick and mortar presence.  The way that the colors, and the displays, the lighting and the furnishings present themselves to the customer didn’t happen overnight.  There were planning discussions, there was planning on paper.  There were architectural drawings, shopping to acquire all that you see when you walk in the store.

Adored by Nomad, Store Layout

Adored by Nomad, Store Layout

And where do all the beautiful things that are in Adorned find their way into the shop?  As it happens, Boulder county is packed full of talented people with lots of ideas about how to make things.  Lots of things.  Jewelry!  So many variations on “bead” are evident in the store, from dainty to Barbarian Queen.  So how do we pick?

Knotted Tahitian Pearl Necklace by Catherine Phillips

Knotted Tahitian Pearl Necklace by Catherine Phillips

Catherine has made a place that gives local artists a platform for their work.  Shoppers, whether they are locals or tourists visiting Boulder always exclaim about what a beautiful setting it is.  Many of them even use the word “jewelbox”.  Catherine also has a good eye for the merchandise, too.  She understands the process by which most of them are made, and she is ready with praise or a helpful suggestion as to how to make something better.  She is a generous collaborator, teacher, boss, troop leader, and she always has a bottle of prosecco cold, because she frequently finds things to celebrate, and she wants to be ready.

Catherine Phillip's Coral Necklace

The detail of Catherine’s Work is impeccable! She truly is a gem.


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