Dazzling Paws - Myra Westphal from United States
The success of Dazzling Paws Jewelry can be credited to one woman's love for dogs. While selling handmade rope toys as a fundraiser for a dog rescue group, Myra Westphal received so many compliments on her silver paw print ring, she decided to parlay an earlier career designing wedding jewelry to create unique and meaningful designs for fellow pet lovers. She and her husband Trent launched Dazzling Paws Jewelry in 2004, and since then have had their hands full meeting the demands for handcrafted, recycled sterling rings, necklaces, earrings, and other items, with the help of a staff of more than two dozen.
What makes her designs stand out is how well they reflect the human-canine bond. Myra has designed hundreds of original pieces in a wide range of dog breeds featuring their lovable quirks. The jewelry is crafted entirely in the U.S.A. using both modern and traditional techniques in a process that can take anywhere from a month to six weeks. Starting with a sketch on graph paper, she transfers the design to a CAD program, where revisions can be easily made to create a negative-impression permanent mold. From that, multiple wax molds are created, set in plaster, and, after it cures, molten silver is poured in, which melts and displaces the wax. After cooling, the plaster is power-washed away and the rough silver-castings are oxidized, polished, and buffed out, creating consistently beautiful, high-quality pieces.
Dazzling Paws Jewelry prides itself on being a good corporate citizen, not only using recycled silver to create their designs but also recycled gift wrapping, boxes, and all packaging -- they are "proud to pawtner with responsible dog-related charities to give back to the dog community."