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Sandy Schenkat: Sparkle, gleam, shine, and magic

Shea Stanfield~ 8/27/2014

CAVE CREEK – Author Nora Roberts wrote, “Life will be your treasure box, filled with the sparkle of laughter, the gleam of adventure, the shine of discovery, the flash of magic.  And through all these jewels streams the steady glow of love.” This eloquently penned reflection is the perfect introduction to Sandy Schenkat, local jewelry designer. Sandy’s love of Swarovski crystals and Chakra/rainbow colors bring brilliance and balance to life’s energy.

Sandy, like many professional women, did not start her creative journey in jewelry design until mid-career. She spent 30 years working as a successful real estate broker in south Florida. Her responsibilities in management and sales of new homes in private country club communities bringing in over 250 million in sales taught her the importance of keeping a positive outlook, balancing her priorities, and appreciation for the beauty around her. 

Ten years ago, Sandy decided to leave the pressures of high-end sales and concentrate on a more creative path for her and others. Armed with a background in marketing, an eye for design, and a love of art, Sandy decided to take up the challenge of designing her own jewelry and helping other designers market their art, as well.

In 2005, Sandy became affiliated with Luxe Jewels, a California based company. She was trained by their top designers in the creation of fine jewelry and soon became a company representative. Soon she was acknowledged nationally for teaching a 78-year-old student how to create a bracelet for her mother’s 100th birthday.

When Luxe Jewels became Stella and Dot, Sandy decided to change her focus and became globally active with a fair trade co-op in Kenya. She and other women bought thousands of dollars worth of Kazuri (small and beautiful in Swahili) beads for use in one-of-a-kind jewelry creations. Sandy then created Kenya Kasuals and sold the pieces at Christopher Gallery on Main Street in Scottsdale. The venture was wildly successful in the knowledge that this was a woman-to-woman enterprise.  The purchase of these unique and beautiful pieces helped support the woman of Kenya in supporting their families.

The recession took its toll on the imports and Christopher Gallery. When the gallery closed, Sandy moved her focus to creating Heart and Soul Gems using Swarovski Crystals in her new design line. In 2009, Sandy was accepted into Xanadu Gallery on Main Street and is currently their only jewelry artist. She became involved with Storm Wisdom (store/gallery for intentional living) with her jewelry sales in 2010. 

 

Sandy continues to take classes and create her unique jewelry pieces, inspired by the spiritual connections at Storm Wisdom in Phoenix. Her Chakra jewelry has been a mainstay in combination with her hearts, angels, and butterfly pieces. Sandy’s creations are all made from sterling silver or gold filled in her commitment in producing handmade heirloom quality designs. She believes that any classic outfit, formal to casual, can be changed to set the mood with a stunning piece of exquisitely designed jewelry.

Sandy is still firmly grounded in her marketing roots. She has organized marketing workshops for artists of all backgrounds to help connect with customers. She joined Artisan Creative Exchange, an offshoot of Creative U in Cave Creek, shortly after Marlene Sabatina, Linda Hoffman, DeLynn Hendrickson, and Elizabeth Sun formed the group. 

In March 2014, Sandy was elected president of the group. The group’s mission is to encourage a community of supportive and knowledgeable jewelry artists, while expanding their growth, self-expression, and connections. Sandy is enjoying developing programs for the group, learning new skills at the monthly meetings, and developing networking opportunities for the custom creations. 

To view more of Sandy Schenkat’s jewelry designs, visit her Web sites at  www.heartandsoulgems.com and www.kenyakasuals.com. Sandy can be contacted at jewelry@hbci.com or (480) 268-9200.

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.