Nature’s Jewelry

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Online Editor

The owner of Antheia Jewelry Company and STLCC-Meramec student, Amanda Pohlman has crafted her love for nature into a business with her sister.

“The owner of Antheia Jewelry Company and STLCC-Meramec student, Amanda Pohlman has crafted her love for nature into a business with her sister. The beginning of Antheia goes back to the little handcrafts stand that Amanda’s sister Olga Munoz and her boyfriend had in a touristic place. Munoz and her boyfriend created and marketed handcrafts that were sold at their stand for about seven years.”

Sara Murillo
-Staff Writer- 

The owner of Antheia Jewelry Company and STLCC-Meramec student, Amanda Pohlman has crafted her love for nature into a business with her sister.

The beginning of Antheia goes back to the little handcrafts stand that Amanda’s sister Olga Munoz and her boyfriend had in a touristic place. Munoz and her boyfriend created and marketed handcrafts that were sold at their stand for about seven years.

“After the successful handcrafts stand, we had the idea of having our own company,” Pohlman said. “We started with encapsulated flowers with silver, which is a Mexican technique.” After the idea of formalizing the company, their client base began to grow.

While there was an increase in demand, Pohlman and her sister improved their techniques and they started to bring the idea of butterfly wings as accessories. Even though they had different kinds of jewelry, they wanted to extend the variety of products and prices as well. Between these new techniques, one is the plasticize technique. This technique is mainly used for accessories with dried flowers and sometimes laminated gold, silver and bronze as well.

“The process is secret,” Pohlman said. “It took so much time and hard work for my sister to improve the techniques.”

Since the process requires so much precision, skills and knowledge about the products, Amanda prefers to show the final product of it and let the product itself talk about the time and ability that requires producing them. Antheia Company also imports some products from the United States, but most of the products they use are from Colombia, Pohlman said.

“I feel sorry I cannot be highly-involved with Antheia since I moved, but when I go back to Colombia, I like to work on the jewelry,” Pohlman said.

While Munoz stayed to continue with the company, Pohlman moved to the United States after she got married. Right now she is taking classes at Meramec, but she is also promoting Antheia to her friends and acquaintances.

“We have had so many negative comments on our Facebook page regarding the environmental threat that our products cause to nature, but they don’t know how many regulations and processes we go through before the production of each accessory,” Pohlman said.

The butterflies they use for the jewelry are from two butterfly hatcheries, both certified by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (CAI). One of them reproduces Colombian butterflies and the other one Asian butterflies. Since both are certified by the CAI, they are guaranteed to function under bio-trading laws, Pohlman said.

In addition to the CAI certification, both have government permissions and environmental licenses as well. Antheia is also regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

“Now that our business is growing even more, we are planning to enlarge our workshop, hire more employees and increase the production,” Pohlman said. “Now we have four employees at the workshop, one at the hatchery and a part-time employee for high seasons.”

Today, Antheia has some individual retailers in Chicago, Washington, Belgium and Germany. Antheia’s jewelry is also sold at two Colombian stores.

“Last year the demand of the product tripled because last year we started to have good selling through boutiques and people wanted to sell the product too,” Amanda said. “Since we have promoted and sold the product in fairs, the brand and product became well-known in the market.”

Antheia has participated in several fairs such as Golden Hands in Popayan, and the main one Farex at Cartagena. Pohlman said that Antheia’s success is not just because of the creativity and beauty of the product, but also the accessible and convenient price of every piece of jewelry. A set of silver butterfly wing earrings, chain and pendant can easily cost $30 (market price), which Pohlman thinks is such a “convenient retail price”. On the other hand, the less complex accessories can go from $7 to $10 per set.

“I would like to sell and distribute Antheia’s products here, but right now I have academic plans,” Amanda said. “I would like an expansion of Antheia’s though.”

Pohlman said she would like to see her and her sister’s business grow to their maximum expression. She is living here with her husband and she has to stay here because of his job.

Pohlman’s husband is stationed in Afghanistan until July and she plans to continue her classes at STLCC while working at the ST. Louis Zoo Herpetarium.

“I love animals and that’s why I want to see Antheia succeed,” Pohlman said. “I consider my business as a way to preserve butterflies’ beauty and create a nice piece of jewelry.”

 

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  • Frank

    This is a very well written article! I want to hear more from this girl!

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