Hello beautiful people, this is Cody tapping in to share about the newest project Christine and I started last year - BLŒDSTONE (pronounced bloodstone). By now you may have heard or seen our new business in some fashion, either via Dear Survivor’s social media, or in person at our pop-up events. But I’d love to tell you more about the origin and heart behind it.
Truth be told, I never saw myself ever owning a business. Heck, I didn’t see myself being a jewelry guy. But I truly owe it all to the love of my life, Woody, uh I mean Christine.
Mine and Christine’s relationship is many years old. We met in the final weeks of college when I came to visit SF and crashed on her couch. Our acquaintance grew over the years as we admired each others’ talent and character from afar, and once we found ourselves living in the same city, our relationship was born via our shared appreciation for old world skills. We shared an affinity to rocks (Christine liked raw crystals, I loved natural stone), and that love led us to join our local Mineral & Gem Society in San Diego, CA. A $30/year membership, weekly classes learning how to cut and form stones, and the sweetest retirees who were a wellspring of niche rock knowledge - and the rest is Bloedstone history.
In 2016 we started taking lapidary classes, learning the basics of cutting and polishing stones, and it opened my eyes to the beauty of semi precious stones. I can remember the first stone that made my jaw drop - mahogany obsidian; a black volcanic glass with a ribbon of red shimmering throughout. And to be able to take this rough stone, made in and of the earth, and transform it into a wearable piece of art was truly exhilarating.
It was around this time that I started to dream about starting my own jewelry line. I noticed there wasn’t much jewelry out in the world for a guy like me - a guy who didn’t fit the “southwestern,” “biker,” “traditional tattoo,” “flashy” styles that I saw brands designing for. My mind kept going to the styles that I would see at antique stores and flea markets. Understated, well-worn classics.
Jump forward to spring of 2017, I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail - a 5 month backpacking trip starting at the border of Mexico and ending in Canada. Walking the trail and seeing the earth change under my feet was such a cool experience, and a season of my life I’ll never forget. It allowed me time and space to meditate on my life and goals, and dream about what I wanted in my future. Along the journey I kept my eyes peeled for beautiful rock specimens, and even threw a few in my pack (which definitely revokes my membership to the ultralight backpacking club).
I walked away from the PCT with two big takeaways:
- Propose to Christine asap.
- Start my jewelry brand that honors the earth in both design and ethics.
A lot happened in between these realizations and the actual launch of Bloedstone. Christine and I got married in the summer of 2018, it was the most beautiful day in a ravine on the outskirts of San Diego. The wedding favor for each guest was a special rock from our growing collections. I continued work full time as a photographer, meanwhile Christine and I kept learning new jewelry skills (metalsmithing, wax carving, casting, etc.). And then the pandemic hit…and somehow here we are already two years later.
A few months into the pandemic we decided it was time for us to make the move to Los Angeles. We loved our peaceful San Diego life, but we were ready to push our creative careers rather than fall into complacency. A big reason for the move was to be near the LA jewelry district. And I know what you’re thinking - all the gaudy window displays with stack on stacks of gold chains and giant diamonds, why would you move for that? No, the beauty of the jewelry district is actually what’s above those storefronts: the most skilled stone cutters and goldsmiths and engravers you can find. We spent our first few months here knocking on doors and building relationships. And while we were doing this primarily for Dear Survivor’s new fine jewelry line - we realized that Bloedstone, the brand I’d been dreaming of for nearly 5 years, could finally become a reality.
We spent the better part of 2021 designing, prototyping, sourcing, figuring out manufacturing, and flushing out just what this brand was. And on September 12, 2021, Bloedstone was finally born.
Bloedstone’s inaugural collection features natural stone inlay signet rings and simple bands. We harken to eras past with our silhouettes and design techniques, but drive change in our industry with sustainable and transparent practices. We believe in good, lasting design. Each ring is cast in recycled silver or 14k gold using the ancient technique of lost wax casting. Our stone inlay is done by expert lapidary artisans in downtown LA who have dedicated their life’s work to this art form. The result? A modern heirloom. The piece you will wear for a lifetime, and that your family will cherish for generations to come.
Like Dear Survivor, Bloedstone strives to make a difference in the world through our sales. While Dear Survivor has always had a social good focus, Bloedstone has an environmental emphasis. We are 1% For The Planet certified, and have partnered with National Forest Foundation with our donations going directly to the Southern California Forest Fund. Being from California and understanding the threat climate change creates, we felt it important to focus our attention on ways to provide aid to the ever present wildfire crisis.
And as we start a new year, we are excited to see where Bloedstone will take us! We’ll be expanding our product line with new band styles and pinky rings soon. So stay tuned as we continue to follow our creative dreams. We are so honored to make beautiful objects for you!