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Meet Marti DeBoer of Chi-townDesign

“A passion for making jewelry took me to Italy.”

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marti DeBoer.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started designing and making jewelry about 8 years ago. At the time, I rarely wore jewelry, finding it uninspiring, uncomfortable and too dressy for my everyday activities. Because the materials I use are simple and natural, yet beautiful and comfortable, it has been easy to integrate what I make into my wardrobe.

Thus, began a passion for learning skills and creating jewelry that has brightened my life immensely. Several years ago, while still practicing psychology, I organized a workshop for women who were approaching an “encore career.” I knew that I was on that path as well, so while I continued to practice, I dove into learning metalsmithing, copper enameling, and other skills for jewelry design after hours.

I also started an Etsy shop, sold at the local farmer’s market, the art center’s holidays sales and several other craft shows. When it was time to retire, I was ready to step it up further. With the help of a friend, I designed a website and invested in an online course that taught me about the business side of jewelry design.

Luckily, because of a trip to Italy last May, I was able to take a workshop on making porcelain jewelry in Tuscany with a famous Italian designer. That fueled my passion and furthered my skills in porcelain clay. As usual, traveling heightened and broadened my visual sense too.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a wonderful journey. Of course, it can be frustrating when problems arise, but often solving the problems lead to interesting design ideas. One of the most challenging tasks is to locate the people who love your particular jewelry design.

It has been getting better as my brand gets more exposure. Besides my Etsy shop (, 3 boutiques in Chicagoland sell my jewelry. I am working on showcasing my pieces by taking photos of some beautiful young friends wearing them. I post on social media but have a lot to learn in that area.

We’d love to hear more about your business.

I design and make casual, contemporary jewelry for men and women who like an unusual artistic design. My inspiration comes from global adventures and a deep love of nature. Most designs use unconventional materials such as porcelain, raku, copper enamel, and textiles, in addition to metal work and stone.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up in rural Minnesota, I spent a lot of time reading, cooking, crafting and using my imagination to dream up projects for the neighborhood kids. We put on a circus, plays, parades, pet shows and talent shows.

Once a friend and I started a sort of “detective agency.” We also did a LOT of ice skating and sledding. In high school, I was involved in many activities, including cheerleading and band. I also worked as a car-hop and nurses’ aide.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: marti.deboer
  • Facebook: chi-town design

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