Building a Family Business

Building a Family Business

Building a Family Business

Cloud Cap Jewelry was started by Laura (me) as a business for my daughter, Catie, to run. This was in 1997, when Catie was a teenager. I had previously started making jewelry for myself and had had so many requests for jewelry and compliments from friends and family that I had already begun thinking about selling it, so Cate and I started out at the Hood River Saturday Market in Oregon.

We did Saturday markets in chilling cold, sideways rain, gale force winds and breathless heat. We set up on grass, sidewalks, pavement, and parking lots, wherever an event was happening. Neither snow, nor rain, nor dark of night stopped us. I've got to hand it to Catie, she stayed there beside me and toughed it all out right along with me. We sold when we were happy, we sold when we were sad, we sold when we loved each other, and we sold when we hated each other because we'd had an argument just before the sale about how to set up the booth. (:

Eventually CCJ grew and gained popularity. We got into galleries and gift shops and we learned and changed. We were invited to join the local artist's co-op, and were members there for ten years. We got into a wonderful chain of stores called Made in Oregon, and we learned even more. Our work is now in over 12 locations as well as online. Catie now has 3 young children and a small business of her own (, so I carry most of the load, but she is still very much a part of Cloud Cap Jewelry.

About a year ago I realized that I was not getting any younger and needed to think about the future of Cloud Cap Jewelry. At that same time, my son, Curtis, had seriously hurt his back and needed work that was less stressful on his body. I asked him if he'd like to work for CCJ for a while and see what would happen. Well, he is still here working with me, and is a real asset to our little business. He has the family eye for detail and is even more picky about putting out top quality jewelry than I am, and that's saying something. He has become the chief hammer-er and does truly excellent work.

About a year ago one of my friend's sons, Joel, offered to do some part time work for us. He's the one who puts stickers on boxes and bags, straightens head pins, packages the polishing cloths, and does other background work. When you get your order and see everything neatly stickered, you see Joel's excellent handiwork.

Thank you so much for supporting our handmade mini-biz! Where would we be without customers like you?


  • I don’t recall how I came upon your jewelry but am so happy I did! I’ve only purchased 2 pair of earrings so far (bet these won’t be my last) but I truly love both pair! Thank you for being there so I could make these purchases! They are absolutely beautiful!

    Connie Gehring on

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