Made in Vermont: Tossi Jewelry

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 6:58 PM EDT
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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Tossi Garrett’s big beautiful ideas tend to start as small pieces of wax.

“You carve it exactly how you want it, to the same size, and then it’s cast,” she explained, while working on a piece. It’s the start of a new custom, handmade piece of jewelry. That kind of work is the bread and butter of Northfield’s Tossi Jewelry.

Garrett has been working as a jeweler and jewelry designer for 22 years.

“I just love sparkly, shiny things,” she laughed. “I always have been drawn to jewelry.”

She honed her skills by taking workshops along her journey, where she learned the art of wax carving that she uses today. Her pieces begin as wax carvings, so she can get the precise details down. But, she caught the bug during college.

“I studied in Florence, Italy, for a year and got to take sculpture for that whole year, where I learned how to carve marble,” she said. She also took metalsmithing, learning the basics of the craft and setting herself up for a long career ahead.

“When I graduated college, I did a little soul searching, hiked the Long Trail and thought I would really try to combine the things that I love into a business,” Garrett said.

So that’s what she did. Garrett’s style is earthy, classic and slightly funky. She makes things that look intentionally handmade, using largely recycled metals, and local or ethically sourced gemstones.

“Sometimes I’ll use Maine tourmalines, New Hampshire aquamarines or a very local gemstone cutter can do things like Vermont serpentine,” she said.

Garrett keeps a stock of her most popular work, like her Wisdom Rings, to be sold at the Stowe Farmers Market each weekend. A lot of her business comes from custom commissions.

“I really love working with people, learning their stories, learning their sense of style, and then taking that and working it into designs,” she said. Garrett also explains that for her, the best part is using her skills in sculpture and wax carving, to create the perfect piece of jewelry for her customers.

“Humans have really been expressing themselves and exploring who they are through carvings for the entirety of humanity. To be a part of that and to be able to make something with my hands that people enjoy, that means something is just really fulfilling for me,” she said.