Raw Elegance 8

Channeling creativity with Boulder’s Todd Reed Jewelry.

Boulder-based jeweler Todd Reed has been making beautiful pieces of jewelry for decades, but he doesn’t concern himself too much with figuring out the thesis of his work. He enjoys making interesting and lovely things for people, and he’d prefer that be his calling card more than anything else.


With a small team of jewelers and a strong relationship with the surrounding community of Boulder, Todd Reed jewelry has made a name for itself through unusual and beautiful body art that offers a good amount of creative freedom to the maker, and the customer receives a piece of art unlike almost anything else out there. There is a quality to the work that Reed describes as ‘raw elegance.’


Reed is an ambitious artist and more than a jewelry maker, but from a practical standpoint, he is mostly concerned with not limiting himself to doing just one thing. Be it a sconce, a wedding band symbolizing eternal love, or even choreography for a dance he is still working out in his head; Reed thrives off exploring possibilities as a creator.


Since moving to the area in 1996, Reed has become a fixture in downtown Boulder for customers in search of a custom piece of jewelry or for people casually strolling through after the farmer’s market. It is an eclectic area that embraces local business, good people making good things, and a touch of weird.

It is difficult to say whether Reed’s company could have grown into the business it is today had it not come to Boulder 22 years ago, but that’s sort of a moot point anyway. The quirky luxury jewelry store that does not appeal to everybody doesn’t have to because it already found the perfect home.


“We’ve gotten kind of lucky,” says Reed. ”Our jewelry is perfect for an urban mountain community because it’s understated but really beautiful. At the end of the day, it’s special and beautiful, and people enjoy that.”


Acknowledging both 25 years in the business and the talented team of jewelers now handling the primary jewelry making, Reed, and his team created the Forged as One Campaign. Each jeweler was given a signature stamp created to let customers know who was on the workbench and to highlight the exceptional work done by individuals. For Reed, it was as simple as giving credit where credit was due and introducing the world to the people he has entrusted his vision with.


“It wasn’t clear to everybody that I wasn’t making the jewelry anymore,” says Reed. “I started thinking ‘well we really should show people that everybody that works here is an artist.’ The other jewelers were really making the art.”


Reed acknowledges that part of the creative autonomy he and his team have is due to consistency in quality and customer experience. It’s a marriage that melds authentic expression, high-end customer service, and reliability in a way that is not terribly common among businesses.


“I think the hallmark of our company really is uniqueness, but there’s a certain reliability in that. It contradicts itself in a way and there’s a consistency there,” says Reed. “If you think consistency is what builds trust, then people can trust that we’re going to stay unique. It’s not a marketing plan; it’s just the way it is.”


The uniqueness of Todd Reed is as prevalent in the jewelry itself as it is in the way in which Reed is personally averse to only producing best sellers. Making money is important, but he has spent his career occupied with creating a piece of body art that is special and unlike what traditional jewelers offer.


“We really are unique, for good or for bad,” says Reed. “We’ll probably never be a big fish in a big pond and have something for everybody, but thank our lucky stars, we live in a place that supports us, and there are enough places around the world that support this uniqueness or special quality, whatever it might be.”


The order will always be on time, the finished product will never be boring, and the customer experience will be unlike anything else a person might find while shopping for a piece of body art. For better or worse, this is Todd Reed jewelry.