About Us

(Back when Twitter was a new invention,
Apple first unveiled the iPad,
and the 2008 recession was causing job loss) 

2009 started off on a grim note. I lost my weekend job of teaching Beginning Silversmithing because of a drop in students. It hadn't paid a lot, but I had loved doing it. Along the way, I had made a number of interesting handmade jewelry pieces that I now needed to sell. Pronto.

Like a lot of people who had grown up working in the jewelry industry, I had heard the accepted "wisdom" that no one would ever buy jewelry off the internet, but I really wanted some way to sell items that didn't involve travelling to craft fairs or giving half of my sale price away to a gallery. Being away from the studio made me realize that it was incredibly important to me to have that creative outlet. So I started to make a general plan for what I'd need to be able to do jewelry full time.

In 2010, with some fear and trepidation, tons of mistakes, and lots of serendipity, I started an online shop called Moonkist Designs on this new thing called Etsy to sell my handmade jewelry. 14 years (and a few more stores) later, we have created over 40,000 orders for our amazing customers. I have learned so much from this amazing journey. Although I started the business as a one-woman show in 2009, it has grown to be more than I can do alone, and I'd be seriously remiss not to mention everyone else who works with me on a daily basis.

John joined me in 2014. He is my head jeweler and brings a diverse background in everything from sheet metal fabrication to model rocketry to embroidery, he approaches making fine jewelry with an eye to design, detail, and durability.

Kira joined us in 2015. With two college degrees in art, she was more than ready for the challenge of jewelry creation. However, as our business has grown, Kira has become my office manager. She helps answer customer inquiries and keeps us coordinated!

Beth joined us in 2020. She is originally from Tennessee, and stepped in to help with order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. She also handles the inventory wrangling, which is an art unto itself around here. She's part of the coordinated effort to keep us organized, and we appreciate her immensely!

I still enjoy teaching, and have taught many beginners the basics of working in different kinds of metal. On the way into my studio there is a sign that advises, "Do small things with great love." That wise advice has become one of the things I teach my students, and one of the basic principals of my business.

After 30 years making jewelry, I still think I have the best job in the world. I work with people I care about, and make beautiful things that make people happy. I'm proud of the work we do and grateful for the opportunity to share it with you. Thank you for all the years of support!

I look forward to working with you!

Gena Smith
Owner, Moonkist Designs