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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Tuesday, 01 December 2020 19:35

Day Job/Night Job: Metal and Creativity Collide at CRASH Jewelry

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Christi Schimpke created CRASH Jewelry in 2013, building it into a successful business that has produced 3,000 pieces in seven years. Christi Schimpke created CRASH Jewelry in 2013, building it into a successful business that has produced 3,000 pieces in seven years.

Index

...but wasn’t sure how to proceed.

 

“I made a few mistakes at the beginning, but as I developed techniques for taking metal off cars and creating polished jewelry from it, I got better and better," she said. "Over the past few years, I’ve refined my process to the point where many people can’t initially believe that those earrings or that cuff actually started as part of a vehicle.”

 

When Schimpke started receiving accolades and great reviews for her first few pieces, from parts off a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, she was obviously thrilled.

 

“I love the fact that people are continually surprised when they realize that a cuff or a necklace is made from a hood, door or quarter panel of a car,” she said. “When they find out that it’s from a vehicle, they are shocked and want to learn more about the process. By experimenting, we have developed methods to manually manipulate steel and aluminum, without affecting the car’s original paint.”

 

Since its inception, the sales at CRASH Jewelry have increased by 400%, and today its inventory has grown from 30 to 100-plus items. The company has been featured in numerous publications, radio and television programs.

 

"A guest on [the fifth season of] Jay Leno’s Garage was wearing one of my cuffs, and models on the runway during L.A.’s Fashion Week wore some of my jewelry as well," Schimpke said.

The clientele at CRASH Jewelry spans a diverse demographic, including car enthusiasts, fashionistas, artisanal crafters and those who simply enjoy a good story about something handmade, Schimpke said.

 

“We take pride in our collection, and often embellish our creations with quality gemstones and cabochons," she said. "In this age of mass production, handmade craftsmanship seems to be a thing of the past, which is what makes CRASH Jewelry so special.”

 

Bracelets---aka cuffs---are Schimpke’s best sellers, making up almost 80% of her total sales. They range in price from...


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