At Seattle Refined, we are constantly amazed and awed at all the cool companies that started in Seattle. From old school faves like Filson and Nordstrom to more recent businesses like Feller Raincoats and Posie Turner Socks. Boma Jewelry started here decades ago, and over the past 40 years they have grown - and become leaders in the jewelry industry. Their classic styles appeal to people of all ages, as does their commitment to their workers and sustainability. We chatted [virtually] with CEO Suzanne Vetillart, the daughter of the founders of Boma, she is a second generation leader.
Seattle Refined: Suzanne from Boma Jewelry - I am so excited to talk to you, I have been a fan of yours for years. What I didn’t realize until recently was, you’re based right here in Seattle!
Suzanne Vetillart: We are a Seattle-based company, we were founded in 1981 in a small office in Pioneer Square.
One sort of sweet aspect to this - your parents started the company, right?
My dad is a University of Washington graduate. He decided to go into jewelry because he knew he could find really good quality jewelry making in his home country of Thailand.
Your dad started it, and now you’re the CEO. What kinds of pieces do you make?
We sell earrings, hoops, necklaces, bracelets [and] rings.
How would you describe the jewelry?
What we specialize in is jewelry that’s made with quality, and made with precious metals - so we really focus on sterling silver and gold vermeil, and the design of the jewelry is really timeless. I’ll show you some of the pieces - [they are] some of the things that my girls love. I have three little girls so they all have their ears pierced. Boma’s really well known for our wide range of earring studs, this our our new ones that are my girls’ favorite, they’re cute little heart studs. We use a lot of genuine stones in our jewelry.
For myself, or for an older customer, there are some new hoops that are really on demand right now. And here’s another one with the pearls. It’s a very classic style but it’s a little but refreshed and modern. I think that really reflects the sustainability aspect of our jewelry too. It’s not jewelry that you plan to throw away, it's jewelry you can keep and always wear.
You [Boma] have been leaders in sustainability for a long time, way before it became popular. Why are you so committed to sustainability?
I think for us, sustainability is really about the values of the company. What I’ve really discovered as a second generation leader is really that we’re not really a company with a mission, we’re really a mission with a company. And I really feel like in this age we’re really conscious of where our products are made and how they’re being made.
One thing I have become fascinated with is some of the videos you guys have, including one that demonstrates how you recycle resin. Why are you recycling materials?
The resin that you talk about is really this process where we take discarded pieces of stone that are leftover, that otherwise would just become waste or garbage, and then we reset it into a resin so that it can be reused for new pieces of jewelry. It’s a kind of an example that there is always waste in the system and there’s always ways to make improvements and innovation to reduce that waste.
How are you hoping someone feels wearing a piece of Boma jewelry?
I always like to use the word joy. I really think that that fits. I want anyone who wears our jewelry to feel that joy when they put it on.
For more info about Boma, visit their official website or check them out on Instagram.