UNDERHILL, Vt. (WCAX) For many of us, a serene cabin with views of Mt. Mansfield might be one of the ways we picture retirement. For Donna Perron, the pounding of a hammer and other tools are the sounds of her retirement.
"I just started this to make gifts for my friends and my family and it has turned into something I love to do and something that people love to wear," Perron said.
A native Vermonter, Perron opened Silver and Stones Studio in January of 2007. Her collection includes pendants, necklaces, rings and earrings, with an average cost of about $60.
On this day, she's hammering, heating and sanding her signature earrings. It will take two hours from start to finish.
"I've always loved jewelry. From the time I was a little kid, I used to ride my bike to Creskee's, take my babysitting money and buy this god-awful stuff, but I loved it," Perron said.
She learned a lot about making jewelry from her time spent in New Mexico, but she got her start at Vermont's Shelburne Craft School.
"It's just amazing to me that something from under the ground can transform with my hands and make into a beautiful piece of jewelry for someone to wear," she said.
Someone like customer Sonia Lamb. "These are my earrings that she made me for Christmas, that I drew on a piece of paper a design that I liked, and she ran with it, and I think they're pretty stunning," Lamb said.
Not only is she Lamb customer, she's a client. Her business in Hinesburg, Salon INK, is one of a handful of places selling Silver and Stones jewelry.
"I can't keep the case stocked," Lamb said. It's awesome. And she's doing it right in her little house. One-of-a-kind pieces."
"If I see someone wearing a pair of earrings I think, 'Oh, I could do those in a different metal or maybe smaller and add something to it,'" Perron said
There's nothing Donna Perron can't handle. At a time when peace and quiet is preferred, she's making noise -- and a fashion statement -- with her Made in Vermont jewelry.