CORRECTED: Family duo crafts one-of-a-kind jewelry


Photo: Kait McKinney/Iowa State Daily

Natasha Stewart, designer for Talking Windows Jewelry, rings up a customer during the West Glen Farmers’ Market on Saturday in West Des Moines. Stewart and her mother both attended the Farmers’ Market to sell and inform new customers about their one-of-a-kind handcrafted designs.

Ivy Christianson

If you’re looking for a unique gift, you’ll find it at Talking Windows Jewelry.

A business started by mother-daughter team Cindy Marshall and Natasha Stewart, Talking Windows Jewelry, based out of Des Moines, stemmed from the women’s passion for creative jewelry.

Cindy Marshall said they never intended to start a business.

“My daughter and I had seen the glass soldered windows on a couple of other designer jewelry and were intrigued,” she said. “We decided one weekend to put it together to wear ourselves and every time we wore one, someone would ask us where we got them.”

Soon the duo was making windowed necklaces, bracelets and charms for friends and family. They decided to start Talking Windows Jewelry in July 2008. Both have strong interest in fashion and creativity, so it wasn’t difficult to enjoy the jewelry-making process.

The name, Talking Windows Jewelry, was difficult to choose, according the business’s Facebook page:

“Since each of our designs has a glass soldered ‘window,’ we wanted to include the word ‘window’ somewhere in our name. The initial designs we created for ourselves always made a statement or ‘talked’ to others. We ended up combining the two words and knew ‘Talking Windows Jewelry’ was a perfect name for our business.”

Marshall said the best thing about their jewelry is each creation a customer purchases is guaranteed to be unparalleled to any of the other jewelry.

“We have a one-of-a-kind unique collection, which means we don’t duplicate it,” she said. “Whoever gets [the piece] wears it, and no one else will have one like it.”

The business offers a variety of adornments, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings and a wide variety of chains.

The price ranges from $29.50 to $210.00, depending on the type of chain used and number of beads and charms, but typically one of the items is $35.50. 

Every necklace, bracelet, earring and charm is handcrafted. The process to create the jewelry is very labor intensive, some pieces taking days to finish. With that, there is a heavy amount of soldering and detailed work involved.

Recently, Talking Windows Jewelry was licensed to sell ISU and the University of Iowa merchandise. To qualify for this, they had to fill out a comprehensive application. In addition, the two women made up a sample line to be viewed by trademark individuals for each college. Marshall said ISU officials were very impressed with the line created and the officials had not seen anything like it.

Currently, the Iowa State University Bookstore has several Talking Windows Jewelry pieces for sale, as a second shipment was recently delivered to the store.

With such an interest in their jewelry, Marshall and Stewart work to distribute their creations as best they can. By getting involved with farmer’s markets and trunk shows, they have been able to gain a wide customer base and much notoriety.

They have scheduled trunk shows in Ames at 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. for July 10 at Chocolaterie Stam, and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. July 11 at Reiman Gardens

Both Stewart and Marshall encourage Ames residents and ISU students to visit their shows to check out their ISU-themed jewelry for next year’s sporting events.

To find out more information, check out their Facebook fan page.

CORRECTED: Originally, the word “jeweled” was used in the article, but Talking Windows Jewelry does not use any real jewels in their pieces. Also, it was stated that prices began at $9.50, but prices range from $29.50 to $210.00. The Daily regrets the error.