Lewiston’s Chéri Amour has teamed with Dune Jewelry & Co. on a new line of items made with unique, nature-inspired components.
Owner Cheri Clark said, “Dune is a woman-owned company out of Massachusetts. They work with elements of the earth, so they're mostly found in beach towns – like Fort Myers would have Fort Myers beach sand in their jewelry. We approached them about doing something with a Niagara rock, which they were very excited about.
“What they did is, when they got the Niagara rock – which I literally had someone go down to the river and they got rocks out of the river – with one instruction that water must flow over the rocks – and that's what happened. And then they created jewelry around the Niagara River rock. I chose which styles would work for us.
“When they got the Niagara rock, they got very excited. They first were just going to pulverize it to sand. But when they got it, they said, ‘Let's do something different and unique.’ And they kept it chunky and added mother of pearl to make it prettier. The rock is mixed with slivers of mother of pearl to enhance its beauty and make it shimmer.”
Clark said the Dune Niagara rock is available in bracelets, necklaces and earrings; and it is done with gemstone, sterling, stainless and silver plate.
“It's just a really great piece of jewelry,” she explained. “It's for that person who maybe used to live here, but doesn't live here anymore. It's for people who do live here and embrace the area. But it's that perfect gift for that person who would appreciate a piece of Niagara rock.”
Some of the Niagara rock has been paired with labradorite, moonstone, lapis, amethyst and Botswana agate. Custom orders are available. One patron recently ordered a piece that is half Lake Ontario sand and half Niagara River rock.
In addition, Chéri Amour has traditional Dune pieces, including a worldwide bracelet.
“This actually ended up being a really good seller,” Clark said. “This is ‘The World is Yours,’ handmade with sand from all the seven continents. This I brought in; I had it in silver, gold and rose gold, but I sold out of the silver and gold many times and I have to keep reordering it.”
Dune began 13 years ago inside founder Holly Daniels Christensen’s home.
On the company website, Christensen stated, “I began capturing beach memories in the form of unique, sand filled jewelry designs that I made for family & friends. Inspiration became a passion, and my passion became a business. Since launching Dune Jewelry in 2010, we have grown from a one-woman, kitchen table business to a diverse jewelry manufacturing company with thousands of the coolest customers around the world.”
Clark noted, “Dune itself has a bank of over 5,000 sands. So, if the sand is in their bank, they could make something. For instance, let's go back to Fort Myers, Florida. If you frequented Fort Myers – snowbird in Fort Myers – you could get half Fort Myers, half Niagara rock. That can be done. Customization can be done.”
She added, “NU graduations, we did the Niagara River rock in the amethyst. And that was when I first brought them in. It was the first thing I ordered. And it was a hit.”
The Dune Niagara River rock is available exclusively at Chéri Amour, 522 Center St., Lewiston. For more information, call 716-754-8675.