Both are of Hispanic background and first-generation Americans of immigrant parents. Growing up, the principle of community and selfless service was instilled deeply within them.
Osvaldo joined the Marine Corps at seventeen and served for over twenty years as a jet engine mechanic. He later started a small wood manufacturing and custom engraving business where he channeled his mechanical background into a passion for intricate pieces of art.
Priscilla is also an entrepreneur and has two other brands in the athletic and children’s clothing space. While they carry similar aesthetics and mission, they aren’t blessed with the same hands-on creation that drives Charlie James Artisan — making it truly a labor of love.
Osvaldo and Priscilla met in the handcrafted art space and combined their joint skill into one incredible superpower of custom, story-driven wooden jewelry design that has developed into what is now Charlie James Artisan.
Their love shines through the collaborative work of their products and authentically represents who they are and what their customer wants. The business they’ve built serves as both a creative outlet and as a means to support their adventurous lifestyle.
Together, they’re the picture-perfect model of the American dream! Doing what they love, working for themselves, and creating something beautiful in the process.
Most of their art and jewelry are inspired by the adventures they experience in the breathtaking landscape their home state of Arizona has to offer. Whether it’s paddleboarding, hiking, or exploring and just enjoying nature, all of these experiences influenced their designs.
Osvaldo and Priscilla shared several of their enchanting jewelry pieces that featured mountain landscapes and cactus earrings. Though they primarily craft out of wood, they also incorporate leather and desert or boho-inspired engravings.
These intentional elements prove their designs have been crafted with the essence of their environment in mind. It was clear to us — and to their customers — that to them, their business doesn’t just “make jewelry”.
Each piece is a tiny, intricately crafted work of art, clearly infused with their story. Delicate feathers, mountains, adorable cacti, sunflowers, and horseshoes are all heavily featured in their designs. Every earring shows a small part of their heritage, their adventurous lives, and a peek into the majestic, arid landscape that surrounds them.
We had the opportunity to shadow them at a local event for makers. The charming Prescott Wedding Chapel and Event Center in the heart of historic Whiskey Row provided the perfect setting to showcase their brand. It allowed us to capture perfect shots of their market display arrangements and signage.
It also meant we got front row seats to see how they can work a crowd! The two of them love talking about their products and sharing their handiwork, and even more than that, they love sharing their story and the process. They want their community and their customers to not only enjoy their product but to also remember them personally and what adventure inspired each piece.
Osvaldo and Priscilla’s goal is to create a genuine, personal connection with the buyer through the product. They want the customer to remember their story and feel a little bit of that creativity every time they look at it.
Their customers are the driving force of their operation. They genuinely look forward to interactions with customers and witnessing other people appreciating their work. It’s obvious they enjoy sharing about their products, the inspiration behind them, and how they got started.
Priscilla shares that the biggest challenge in their business was just getting started! There will always be ups and downs, but it’s how you get through them that makes or breaks you.
Being extremely conscientious creators, they operate as naturally as possible and have built their business by sourcing local products and serving their local community. During the COVID pandemic, like many businesses, they experienced supply chain challenges. They were able to stay in business and keep fulfilling orders when other shops were shutting down. This allowed them to keep serving their customers and continue supporting their community in Prescott, AZ.
They stayed positive and optimistic throughout the challenges. Osvaldo believes that a lot of small businesses, once they get comfortable, they think everything is going to be easy from then on. He argues that if you’re comfortable, your passion fades little by little. Your designs will lose their luster and you will lose motivation to keep going when times get tough.
Osvaldo and Priscilla’s solution? They never allow themselves to get too comfortable! The two of them believe their discomfort is what keeps them going. They’re always focused on solving a problem or putting out a small fire. The challenge is part of what keeps them motivated to overcome and continue to innovate.
They’re certain the comfort stage will come eventually, but they’re not worried about looking for it now. They’re still in a stage of rapid growth, with growth comes growing pains. And they’re not done growing yet!
You can view the brand spotlight video we produced for Charlie James Artisan here. Their custom, wooden, boho, and desert-inspired jewelry can be purchased at their Etsy shop.
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