Cherokee Copper hopes to sell jewelry worldwide

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
01/26/2018 08:30 AM
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Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Greg Stice hammers a heart to harden it for it to become a necklace in the Cherokee Copper’s Valentine line. Stice and his family manage and create pieces for Cherokee Copper out of their Mounds home. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A bracelet and a copper heart are a few items that are part of Cherokee Copper’s Valentine line. Greg Stice, Cherokee Copper owner and artist, said he hopes to have Cherokee fine jewelry on display across the world. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Greg Stice, Cherokee Copper owner and artist, looks at a finished necklace at his studio in Mounds. Cherokee Copper creates anything from cuffs with Oklahoma-shaped outlines to necklaces with pearls and copper and includes pieces for women and men. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
MOUNDS – With hopes of getting Cherokee jewelry in fine jewelry stores worldwide, Greg Stice, owner and artist of Cherokee Copper, is on his way to doing just that with a key part of his jewelry consisting of copper and pearls.

“Our goal is to take the Cherokee, our tradition to the world…so that you can walk into any fine jewelry (store) and you will be able see Cherokee fine jewelry,” he said.

Stice said he takes traditional Cherokee jewelry pieces and brings them into the 21st century by using modern tools such as engravers.

“In using that technology, as the engraving machine, is the way that we can take technology and produce something very unique and customized and everything is handmade. I mean, printed on the engraver, but once I pull that off every keychain, every cuff will be a little bit different because it’s (crafted with) my hands,” he said.

Stice credits his grandmother, Pebble Ross, for his creativity. “My grandparents were always making things for a large family.” And family still plays a large part as Stice’s children and wife help design, create, test and market the jewelry.

“It’s a way that we as Cherokees express our love for our family, and that’s one big thing within Cherokee (culture), it’s all about family. That’s how we really got started with Cherokee Copper. It’s a family business. It’s a family jewelry company that takes Cherokee traditions and metals and pearls and gemstones and puts a modern twist to it,” he said. “We all get to do something that we all enjoy doing because everybody has a special part into making that piece.”

Cherokee Copper creates anything from cuffs with Oklahoma-shaped outlines to necklaces with pearls and copper, and includes pieces for women and men. Stice said he also has a Heritage Collection incorporating the Cherokee syllabary.

“One of the nice things about our Heritage Collection is that we give 5 percent of all profits to Cherokee scholarships. So all of our heritage stuff is going to create a scholarship for Cherokees annually,” he said.

Stice said he’s also promoting a Valentine line with freshwater pearl and copper heart necklaces, rose quartz necklaces, cuffs and more. “That is what our Valentine line is, is the expression of love.”

Cherokee Copper also helps with fundraisers by creating custom pieces for schools or civic organizations. “We can work with them to create a custom piece,” he said.

When a jewelry piece sells, Stice said he enjoys the smiles it puts on the buyer’s face.

“That’s what I enjoy is when they…get that jewelry, it’s the smile when they wear it,” he said. “It’s traditional Cherokee. It’s copper. It’s freshwater pearl. It doesn’t get any Cherokee more than that.”

Cherokee Copper creates pieces starting at $20 with higher-priced items typically being custom. Stice said he could create custom pieces for individuals, clubs or even for mass production in stores.

Cherokee Copper will have a booth set up at the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival on Feb. 9-11 in Glenpool. For more information, visit www.cherokeecopper.com or search “Cherokee Copper” on Facebook or email cherokeecopper@gmail.com.

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