Strappedbelts.com: Unique Handmade Fused- Glass Jewelry

I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to artist John Frechette, owner of Strappedbelts.com, a Fused Glass Jewelry business based out of Jackson Hole Wyoming.

I must say first off, that I love how the name for John's business came about; After his employer went bankrupt, John found himself "Strapped." Strapped for cash and strapped for a job, John followed his passion and launched Strapped Belts® in 2008.

John first began working with glass as part of an introductory fused- glass class, and quickly found a passion for working with the material and discovering its transformative qualities when heated. He has studied under glass artists and instructors including Richard Parrish of Fusio Studio in Bozeman Montana, Bonnie Celeste of Bullseye Glass in Portland Oregon and Charlotte Potter of Charlotte Potter Design in Providence Rhode Island.

First making just glass belt buckles, Frechette has since grown the line to include handmade earrings, cufflink sets, necklaces, pendants and rings. His work with simple colors and graphic designs has separated Strapped Belts from many other fused glass artists, and has propelled him into stores nationwide. Now found in over 30 retail stores across the United States and Canada, Strapped Belts' line of fused glass jewelry can be spotted almost anywhere!

Strapped Belt's wearable art has been seen on Thrillist.com, Dapper.com, Luxist.com and many other well known blogs. Most recently Strapped Cufflinks were featured in the "Priceless Papa" section of Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine's December 2009 Christmas Gift Guide, and On Channel 5 News. In the summer of 2009, Strapped exhibited at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and began expanding its reach and is now sold in stores throughout the United States and Canada.

John is proud to announce Strapped Belts' sponsorship of three US Olympic Women's Ski Team Members: Sarah Schleper, Hailey Duke and Megan McJames. These athletes flew in from Vancouver British Colombia where they walked in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The three athletes were in Jackson to do some training before returning to the Olympic Games.

Strapped reached out to these women athletes, and offered to get them all "Strapped Out" and ready for the Olympics in true Strappedbelts.com form. Hailey Duke, Sarah Schleper (Sarah is in her 4th Olympics), and Megan McJames came to the Strapped studio, were happily "blinged" out with John's fabulous jewelry, and had a photo shoot at The Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole.




I love John's sentiments and am sure we will all agree with them-

" We wish the girls all the best as they hit the slopes on the 24th -26th in the final days of the 2010 games in Slalom and Giant Slalom. Best of luck ladies and may our bling be replaced by Gold, Silver and Bronze!"

I had a chance to ask John a some questions about his passion and his business-

1.What did you do (work-wise) before starting your jewelry business? I started on Wall Street at Bank of America, I then worked for a Real Estate Developer which is why I moved to Jackson Hole, we filed bankruptcy in November of 08 and i turned to my creative side.
2. What would you say is the hardest part of running your own business? The hardest part of running my own business is that I am a one man show, if I don't do it, it does not get done, but it is so rewarding when things go well.
3. Where do you find inspiration for your beautiful pieces? I find inspiration everywhere. Blogs, magazines, TV, Really all around, and my friends and customers are a huge source of ideas!
4. What would you like for people to know/understand most about you and your company? Everything is Handmade in Jackson Hole. I make each piece individually!
5. Any new products in the works for us to look forward to? There are always new design coming out, everything is one of a kind, but look to see more plates and some sculptural pieces soon!

As a special treat for readers of Happy Healthy Families, John is offering a coupon code for 25% off any entire purchase! And the coupon code is of course..."Olympics". So do check out Strapped Belts John has created a collection of fabulous jewelry from beautiful earrings, necklaces, rings, belt buckles, houseware items and much more! And keep on eye on Sarah Schleper, Hailey Duke and Megan McJames--they will be competing today (Wed. Feb. 24th) and Friday, Feb. 26th!

Photo Credit: Kelli Baxendale

I wrote this review on behalf of Strappedbelts.com., and  will receive a $25 gift certificate to Strappedbelts. All opinions expressed in my review are my own.

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