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Sitting in a Tree Ring | Remembing Moms Courage

Moms courage

A short time before I gave birth to our first daughter, I found out my Mother had cancer. In June of 2014 I learned that she had been diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer. She spent the next eight months going through intense radiation and chemotherapy treatments, while taking a slew of medications. Of course that means she wasn’t able to travel to actually be there for the birth of her first granddaughter, but we took a trip out to Florida as soon as the baby was able to travel.

My Mom fought her cancer with every ounce of strength she had, and while she went into remission from the cancer a multitude of other health problems took over. She developed lymphedema, along with kidney failure. My mom was in constant pain but through it all she always smiled when we were around. She never let anyone see how bad she truly felt and was still trying to take care of everyone around her.

5-10-15 Best Day Ever

In the middle of her battle with these illnesses and her remission she got to see me walk down the aisle, and she was able to meet and spend some time with her two granddaughters.

Ever since that first time I was  told she had cancer it was like a stopwatch had started in the back of all of our minds. How much time did we actually have left with her? The doctors first told us she wouldn’t make it past six months. My mom was the strongest woman I’ve ever known and she beat the all the odds and lived almost a full two years after her diagnosis. She passed away in August of 2016 with friends and family by her side.

A moms love

My mom wasn’t just strong in her fight with cancer. My whole life she showed me how a person can be strong in so many different ways. She showed me how fierce and bright and wonderful a mother’s love truly is, no matter how far apart you are. She drilled in me that girls can whatever we put our mind too and we could be just as tough, if not tougher, than the boys.

My mom was my biggest fan, my shoulder to cry on, and a swift kick in the rear when I needed it. I’m so thankful for the relationship I had and how it’s help mold the one I’m building with my daughters now. I’m thankful for the time she got to spend with them and the incredible amount of love she had/showed them in that short period. A part of me hopes that their coming into this world is what helped her hold on a little bit longer, and its something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Sitting in a tree ring holds meaning

One more thing I can now cherish and have to remind me of that is my own beautiful, one-of-a-kind Simply Wood Rings ring. Thanks to my wonderful best friend, Shelby and the rest of the amazing Simply Wood Rings team for helping commemorate it for me.

The ring that Shelby chose to use as the inspiration for my ring is the ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring. The Simply Wood Rings ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring brings the whole family together by using a base wood of an anniversary month and inlays of birth-woods or birth-stones to represent those closest to you.

My own ‘Sitting in a Tree’ ring features a beautiful base wood of Elm. Elm is the anniversary wood for the month of May. Our wedding date was 5-10-15 🙂 It was actually the first time I met most of Korey’s family and it was right before then my mom announced her remission for a brief period of time. That day was the best day ever. Elm has a light to medium reddish brown color and a somewhat coarse, uneven texture. The wood sands easily though for a gorgeous, natural low luster.

For the birthstone inlays, the outer two rings represent my two daughters, so Ruby and Turquoise were used. The middle inlay, representing my mother, is made from Amethyst. I never even thought about it until I put the ring on, but my girls’ birthstone colors mixed together make my Mom’s birthstone color. And purple just happens to by my favorite color too, ha-ha! It’s also kind of like my girls are hugging my mom and that is something really special to me. Not only do the colors of the birthstones mean something to me, but what they each symbolize add another layer for me to cherish in this already incredible memento.

Ruby is the gemstone used for the birth month of July – when my oldest was born. It is said to represent nobility and beauty, and is considered one of the four most precious gems. Turquoise, the gemstone picked for the birth month of December – my youngest was born on New Year’s Eve. It is one of the oldest stones, used in many ancient cultures. It is believed to bring good fortune and symbolizes friendship and prosperity.

For those born in February, like my mom was, they are said to be blessed with Amethyst as their birthstone. This popular gemstone is prized for symbolizing peace, courage, and love. And I don’t think there’s anything more befitting for my mom. She was the definition of courage. She spent nearly three years fighting a despicable disease and other illnesses. In that time she found peace within herself, she loved and lived as hard as she could. The love between her and my daughters fills my heart. Every time I look at this beautiful piece of jewelry that was made with so much thought and care, my heart overflows with all the emotions I feel.

My every day rings (the ring on the right is made from some of my Mom’s ashes)

 

Simply Wood Rings took these wonderfully simple materials and created something so precious to me that I will cherish for the rest of my life. They will do that for you, too. Every ring made by Simply Wood Rings is handled with the same care and attention that my ring received. You can trust them to make something that will have you and your loved one’s heart skip a beat every time they put it on.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

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Valentine’s Day is on the way!

VDAY BANNER XOXO

 

Flowers and chocolate are so 2017.

This year let SimplyWood Rings make that special someone a one-of-a-kind ring that says “I love you!” in more than one way.

 

Rosewood base

Simply Wood Rings offers a variety of beautiful reclaimed woods that can be used as the base of your ring. Rosewood, is a popular wood because of its strength, hardness, stability, and beauty. It is predominantly reddish-brown color and has a sweet smell. It is said to have compassionate and nourishing qualities. Cherry wood is a great base because of its rich natural luster and medium weight. It has been called the “tree of heart” and symbolizes compassion. Apple wood is another great base to use. It has an appearance and texture similar to Cherry, yet is heavier and harder. Apple is said to symbolize adoration and longevity in love. Another popular wood to use as the base for this special gift is Maple. Maple wood has a natural light color with a fine, uniform texture. Maple is also a very strong wood and has a high resistance to abrasion and wear. The Maple symbolizes the tree of offering, also balance and strength.Teak Wood Ring with Maple Liner

 

These four woods are just the start to what Simply Wood Rings can use to create your ring. Every material we use offers it’s own unique meaning and properties thus giving you a limitless amount of combinations to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind ring that has it’s own special meaning for that special someone. Just check out our gallery to look at some of the pieces Simply Wood Rings has created over the years. Contact us today and we can start creating something beautiful for you!

 

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She’s special | Show her with a wood engagement ring.

wood engagement ring  The Road Not Taken

 

You want to propose because she make you feel like the world now has meaning and you know she’s the perfect one to go on this journey we call life. You need an engagement ring, you say, but she is not a jewelry person. She would rather walk in the forest than go to the mall to pick out a ring.  I have an idea. The next time you’re on a trail walk, when you get there pick up a small rock and put in your pocket. As you continue your walk pick up a stick or a small branch.  Be prepared for she’s asks “what are you doing?” Don’t be discouraged, she will be asking you that for the rest of your life. You will continue your journey through the forest and you will find a leaf or flower towards the end of your walk take that with you also. You will make a mental note of how special she is and how indescribably loved she makes you feel. When you have your materials in hand the Simply Wood Rings Team will be here ready and honored to help you engage her naturally with a wood engagement ring that is as special as she is. We can take your materials you have collect and create a wood engagement ring that is connected, meaningful and grounded in the things you both hold dear. You can read some stories of other customers on our wood ring Stories Page for inspiration.

To start the process or just ask a question fill out our custom inquiry form.

If you would like to see images of past custom wood rings see our gallery.

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While You Are Here

Pilsen, Simply Wood Rings, While Visiting, While in Pilsen, Wood Rings

Did you know that you can visit our shop at any time and see all our rings in person? You can! We love to have visitors see where all the magic happens. There are so many things to do in our neighborhood that we made a list of all of them. We have a brand new page that shows all of our favorite places in the Pilsen neighborhood that you can check out while you are here. We have a comprehensive list of places to shop, drink, eat, hang out, or see art.


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Introducing Birthwood by Simply Wood Rings

Birthwood by Simply Wood Rings

Simply Wood Rings Celebrates with Birthwood

We here at Simply Wood Rings are excited to announce the launch of a new line called Birthwood!  The name itself is pretty enticing, so you are probably asking yourself, what exactly is a Birthwood?  Birthwood is more of an idea than one type of wood. It incorporates numerous kinds of wood and uses the wood’ s symbolization to represent all types of life in its message.
The tree has been a symbol for humans throughout our time on Earth, spanning histories, geographies, religions, and mythologies.  It is a symbol of the interconnections of all life, reaching out to the sky with its branches and down into the Earth with its roots.  Trees breath life into the world we live in, and help give birth to new life every day.  Staying true to these ancient ideas we have created Birthwood as a representation of each client according to which month and tree they were born under.  These ideas pull heavily from Celtic and Native American beliefs and folklore and focus on the way that we inevitably carry a connection with us to all other living things on earth.
My birthday is actually in a few days, and I learned that my Birthwood for October is maple.  The maple tree symbolizes offering, generosity, balance, promise and practicality.  I can’t say that I wouldn’t want a Birthwood piece of jewelry for my birthday this month (hint hint to anyone who knows me personally).  This new line is perfect for gifting to a special person in your life as a birthday present or a present to represent a new start in someone’s life. Below is a list of every month and their specific type of wood, take a look to see what your personal wood type is!

 

January- Birch
The birch tree is a symbol of rebirth and renewal.
February – Hackberry
The hackberry tree symbolizes wisdom, strength of will, and intuition.
March- Ash
The ash tree symbolizes peace of mind, sensitivity, and awareness.
April- Walnut
Walnut is a symbol of universal wisdom and knowledge.
May- Elm
The elm tree is a symbol of strength, family tradition, and loyalty.
June- Oak
Oak symbolizes truth, knowledge, strength of character, and motivation.
July- Cherry
The cherry tree symbolizes strong expression and compassion.
August- Applewood
The apple tree which produces fruit from midsummer to early autumn is a symbol of strength, gentleness, abundance, and giving.
September- Willow
The willow tree symbolizes imagination, intuition, and vision.
October- Maple Tree
Maple symbolizes the tree of offering, generosity, balance, promise, and practicality.
November- Cedar
The cedar tree is symbolic of healing and cleansing.
December- Pine
The pine tree symbolizes creativity, peace, and harmony.

Stay tuned for more information regarding our new line in the upcoming weeks!

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On Glitter, and Value

No one ever wants glitter.

We wish someone would!

Or perhaps ground pyrite (fool’s gold), shimmering under the finish as it would in the fast currents of the creek.

Pyrite elbe

Fool’s gold itself (image by Didier Descouens, via Wikipedia

At the studio, one of us remembers discovering a chunk of pyrite during a creek walk at Pilgrim Hills. She was five at the time, and only beginning to understand the idea of currency. Fishing it up from the sandy bottom, she hollered: “We’re rich!” Like Scrooge McDuck or Donald Trump. Her mother giggled a bit, had to explain as they walked home that though the rock was beautiful, it wasn’t gold. Their bank balance would remain the same. They would have to skip a lazy backstroke through a room-sized vault of doubloons. They watched a whitetail deer mince along the treeline. “But it’s still really beautiful,” her mother said. “You should keep it on your windowsill where it’ll reflect the light.”

At Simply Wood Rings, we work with this kind of beauty: the natural, the authentic. Sure: money helps us all live in our contemporary lives, but natural beauty feeds a different part. This is why we love doing what we do. We’re not only spellbound but inspired by our materials, their past lives, their journeys. They reflect our own evolutions as people on a planet full of uncountable types and forms of beauties.

Seashore's Muse: Rosewood and Mother of Pearl

Seashore’s Muse: Rosewood and Mother of Pearl

Consider: that we want our rings to call attention to this kind of natural wealth.
Consider: that for us, they do.

Be it glitter or pyrite or fossil or ancient woods.
Wishing you some beauty today, wherever you may find it.

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When Style Aids Authenticity

Style and adornment are a way to embolden and announce your interiority to the outside world. So, let’s all be authentic. Let’s all greet the world with kindness. Embrace who you are and who you strive to be.

Most of the people we work with come to us at a time of engagement, marriage or anniversary: they’re affirming and reaffirming their commitment to each other, the value of good Earth citizenship, and the lifecycle of matter.

But there isn’t any reason to save that celebration for just a romantic occasion

  • Consider, adorning your hand with a reminder of the things you believe.
  • Consider, giving your best friend a birthday present that means something special.
  • Consider, passing on a talisman of earth to a family member, a tree to the family tree.

We believe that we make objects that mean something, out of materials that are sustainable. By wearing one of our rings, you can make your own meaning. Why wait to have or give that?
Here are two new rings that we love, that work perfectly no matter the purpose.

When Style Aids Authenticity

Dyed birdseye maple with a rosewood interior.

In real life, this beauty shimmers like we imagine a mermaid might. Or, it is the silver of a spring, or the sweet ethereal mist of twilight. Wearing a ring like this inserts some magic dreaminess into the everyday.

 

When Style Aids Authenticity
Rosewood, using the natural color abnormality of the lumber

This one by design uses contrast and as a result feels uber-contemporary. Like dominoes or like black-and-white cookies, the colors work together strikingly. In it is confidence, a 3″-high newspaper headline, strength and force and elegance all at once.

Let our work be one small step toward matching your insides to your outsides. May you find pleasure therein.

Happy Wednesday!

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A Thank You That Grows

The other day, a sweet customer named Oliver sent our sales superstar Allison a grow-a-garden thank you note!

A Thank You That Grows

This is what it looked like last week. Then, over the weekend, the little sprouts got sad without their daily water. Gustav said that without decay we cannot have growth, but Allison added a little water and nudged them toward the sun’s rays with hope in her heart.

Now the sprouts seem to be bouncing back! The garden is a “matchgarden” by Another Studio, which has loads of beautifully designed and affordable gifts.

It makes us think of one of our favorite environmentally-minded landscape techniques: front lawns with sustainable, native plants, or vegetable gardens instead of grass. Our own building’s front yard has some super-cool bioswales, but that’s a horse of a different color, or a blog of a different color, or for a different day, or…

It truly is the season of new growth!

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On Willows, on a Hot Spring Day

“… I do not know the dreams from which I have come,/sent into the world without the blessing of a kiss, behind the/willow trees, beside the darkened pansies on the deck beside/the ships, rocking, I have written this, across the back of the/sky, wearing a small and yellow shirt, near the reptile house,/mammalian, no bigger than the herd…”

The Bridge by Lisa Jarnot

Simply Wood Rings Willow Engagement Ring
A willow engagement ring from Simply Wood Rings

It’s warm and humid in the studio today and so we’ve been thinking a lot about thirst. A willow tree thrives best at the edge of the water, working hard, stretching its roots outward for sustenance. Perhaps it’s all the heat, but we totally “get” where the willow is coming from today.

Across global cultures, the thirsty willow has been a symbol for keeping in touch with our kindred history and those that came before. Its leaves were used by the ancient Egyptians to control pain, a precursor to modern aspirin. A willow soothes and connects. Because of this, a willow ring is a wonderful way to honor special moments, relationships, and lives, and we think our engagement-profile willow ring says a big, joyous thing in an elegant, quiet, design-forward way.

Our willow is sourced from our friends at Horigan Urban Forest, who found a fallen willow tree at a Skokie elementary school that had been loved a bit too much by the local kids. With its all-wood abstracted engagement profile, and warm honeyed tone, it’s a great fit for minimalists and romantics alike. And to fit this beauty of a ring to your life, we offer wood burning personalization. What could be better.

For now we’ll drink a big glass of water, remember last winter’s snow and ice, and be grateful for being right where we are.

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The “Breaking Traditions” Wood Ring

The Breaking Traditions ring

The Breaking Traditions ring! One of our most popular designs. It is designed to represent the four elements. But this ring is so versatile, it’s easy to make it your own.

The Breaking Traditions Ring

You can change the inlay, to whatever stones or materials you want.  You can even add some wood if you like! You can give us your own materials to use as well.

Breaking Traditions ring

Or maybe you would like to get really creative! And use all sorts of different materials.
get really creative

What will you put in your Breaking Traditions ring?
Breaking Traditions ring

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Puzzle Rings!

Puzzle Rings!

Today I would like to talk about puzzle rings. There are many thing about these rings that are wonderful, but I think overall it’s a great we to bring three rings to a central theme.

Puzzle Rings!

The idea is that the engagement ring and one wedding band fit together like a puzzle. Then there is a curved line that follows the puzzle shape of the ring. This line is added to the larger wedding band, to tie all three rings together!

mike yen

We’ve only made a few set’s so far, we hope to make more. What do you think about them?

Puzzle Rings!

Puzzle Rings!

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Friends at Simply Wood Rings

It’s always nice to put a face to the name! This was I photo I received from two if the nicest people I’ve ever gotten to work with!

Friends at Simply Wood Rings

If you have some photo’s you’d like to share with us, shoot me an email!
craftsman@simplywoodrings.com

And here’s a little photo of me!

allison at horigan

Or, if you’re in the area, stop on in and say hello! We’re located in the fun filled area of Pilsen, in Chicago.

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Norm Sartorius and Recycled Wood

Last week we had a really fun customer come by our studio in Chicago. We were walking around the shop, and looking at all the different woods we have, and we started looking at this box of just little scrap pieces of wood. Each piece we pulled out of the box was more exciting than the last. We eventually found the right piece of wood for him, you’ll see his ring below. But we wanted to share these cool pieces of wood with you!

crazy wood

We are so thrilled anytime anyone donates wood to our shop. It means so much to us to have so many unique and beautiful types of wood. One of the many people who has given us scrap pieces of wood is the great artist, Norm Sartories! He creates, “non-functional wooden spoons” and instead of wasting the pieces he has left over, he like to send them to us and others like us.

spoon wood

spoon wood

Gustav met with Sartorius at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Craft show a few years back and they hit it off. He sends us a few pieces every so often, and we are honored to use the pieces that Sartorius has provided us with. We hope that you see a few pieces you might like to use in your recycled Norm Sartorius wood ring. We are happy to share them with all of you out there!

spoon wood

If you want to read more about Sartorius, we would love for you to visit his website with the following link: http://www.normsartorius.com/index.html

spoon wood

spoon wood

spoon wood

spoon wood

spoon wood

spoon wood

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Goldielocks Rule of Wood: Too soft, too hard, just right!

hello rosewood

ROSEWOOD, Salvaged from Xylophone Keys!

The most common question we hear is:
“What type of woods can we use to make our rings?”

We have used a ton of different types of woods and we have many types ready to go in our shop. There are a few rules when choosing woods for your ring, think Goldielocks…

A type of wood must be hard enough to be durable but not too hard that it splits when we wrap it. The good news about too hard and too soft is that most of the time these woods can be incorporated as inlays or liners. So if you have a particular wood in mind on the TOO HARD or TOO SOFT list, let us know we can find another way to use it.

We’ve compiled three lists of woods that are too soft, too hard and just right for the main component of a wood ring.

Wood types that are JUST RIGHT:
Alianthus
Alder
Ash
Bamboo
birch
Bog Wood
Cedar
Cherry
Ebony
Gingko
Hackberry
Hickory
Juniper
Kauri
Koa – Golden
Koa – Brown
Lace Wood
Mahogony
Maple
Maple – Birdseye
Oak
Oak – White
Padauk
Pear Wood
Purple Heart Wood
Redwood
Rosewood

Teak
Walnut
Wenge
Zebra Wood<

Wood types that are TOO SOFT:
Willow

Wood types that are TOO HARD:
Ironwood
Olive

If you don’t see a particular type of wood, email us! We are always excited to work with new woods and we often use woods provided by customers. Check out the photos at the bottom of this page!

 

Contact Information:
Allison Taylor – Customer Liaison
312 590 6070
craftsman@simplywoodrings.com
simplywoodrings.com

Kauri with a Birch Liner
Kauri with a Birch Liner

Rosewood with Bog Wood Inlays
Rosewood with Bog Wood Inlays

Mahogany
Mahogany

Padauk with a Dark Rosewood Liner
Padauk with a Dark Rosewood Liner

Kauri with a Bog Wood Liner
Kauri with a Bog Wood Liner

Zebra Wood with a Walnut Inlay
Zebra Wood with a Walnut Inlay

Manzanita Wood
Manzanita Wood

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His and Hers

Waels Ring

In these rings we incorporated customer provided Mulberry wood and Cedar from Lebanon! The grandfather of the customer planted a mulberry tree when he was born in Lebanon. The grandfather had always been a great inspiration because of his great perseverance and determination so it was a very special opportunity to incorporate wood from a tree that had grown with him since birth.

His: Cedar Liner with Rosewood, Inlays of mulberry wood, Padauk and Lapis lazuli. 
Hers: Cedar liner with Rosewood, Inlays of mulberry wood and Mother of Pearl and Sapphire set in white gold. 

Waels Rings

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An apple a day… finds you a husband!

Under the Apple Tree

One couple told us the story of spending a whole summer under an old apple tree. They passed the time in the shade of the tree, lost in each other. We made a set of rings from the wood of that apple tree where their two paths intertwined for the rest of their days. We always encourage our customers to provide their own materials so that what we create for them is something deeply symbolic and unique. What type of wood would you use to make a special ring? 

applewood ring

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A Conscious Wood Company

A Conscious Wood Company

We are so excited about our new eco-conscious wood source! Horigan Lumber is a local supplier and their philosophy of preserving the planet’s resources closely parallels our own. The Horigan Lumber Website states, “We are committed to the environment by reducing the number of trees removed from the forest, the amount of fuel consumed for transportation, and the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere by sequestering it as hardwood lumber.”

The folks at Horigan save wood that is destined to be chopped up as firewood and mulch and turn it into usable hardwood. Allison and Gus visited their warehouse last week! Check out the photos! 

Horigan

Horigan

Horigan

They picked up some awesome hackberry (which we’ve never used) and willow! All this wood was once trees that existed in the Chicagoland area. So we can follow our supply chain to the exact address! How cool!? 

We are so happy to have found this wonderful company and look forward to working with them again soon! Thanks Horigan! 

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Wedding Rings for Men

Most guys don’t wear much jewelry, if any at all. The wedding ring may be the only piece of jewelry they decide to wear. With that in mind, we offer eco-conscious rings that are hand-crafted from salvaged woods, to be comfortable and wearable for the modern man.

bogwood oak liner web.jpg

Wood rings are a great option for men with professions that aren’t conducive to wearing a metal ring, such as electricians (or rather too conducive). For graphic designers, our custom designs are exciting to be a part of before the production process begins. For men that want a simple band without much embellishment, our rings are natural and of the earth, and you would not believe how light they feel.

lapis RW steel

For men that do want something more durable without the wear of a wood ring, check out our stainless steel rings with wood inlays.

simplywoodrings.com

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Eco-Conscious

Simply Wood Rings is “Eco-conscious wood jewelry.” As the Earth urges us to pay attention to our habits, this phrase is both timely and timeless. We are connecting people’s desire to do good, with a product tailored to the time and place of their love. We wish to evoke love, hope, and promise in a product that is made with the customer in mind, from materials that are salvaged, sustainable, and meaningful. What you do in this moment is more important than the idea of forever. You can string together all the moments in the world, but forever is a space too vast to occupy. 

Eco-Conscious

Connecting to this idea is becoming more and more relevant. Part of this is being aware, and the other part is the act of doing what we know is best for us. Knowing what is good for our bodies, our families, and the Earth, and choosing natural options–organic foods, natural body-care products and clothing, and natural jewelry.

teak birch

Natural jewelry has been worn since the beginning of time. People would adorn themselves with flowers, shells, and nuts. It was the power of advertising done by diamond companies that sold the idea of forever to us, selling us expensive metals and stones. But we are starting to get back to our roots, to want what is real and of the Earth. Back to Nature. Now more than ever, we want to live simply again. But we want to do it with grace and beauty. We want to wear elements of the Earth–to feel connected with it, to help it, to fuel the Earth’s energy and our own. It is more of an exchange of energy, instead of taking without giving back. And that’s what Simply Wood Rings is here to provide–“Eco-conscious wood jewelry.”

ring

simplywoodrings.com