By Gina Malone
For Dottie Bozzetti, jewelry has another element besides its beauty for the wearer. She specializes in original, custom, handmade gemstone jewelry, and believes that every stone has metaphysical properties. “Every piece of jewelry includes a gemstone or gemstones, and every stone has a message of guidance, love, hope and healing,” Bozzetti says. “Metaphysical properties is a term used to describe the belief that gemstones carry the power to create spiritual, supernatural and physical change in people and have the ability to bring peace, health and protection.”
Her daughter’s friend Kristina, who had begun her own online gemstone business and who moved to Asheville, taught her much about gemstones and convinced her to sell her own creations online. Bozzetti began creating jewelry when she moved to Asheville from Key West. When a friend, Kady, who was married to Bozzetti’s first husband, died of breast cancer, Bozzetti’s daughters Amber, Erin and Milena convinced their mother to create breast cancer awareness bracelets in honor of their stepmother. Bozzetti, who had become close to Kady over the years, was ready. “They were designed with rose quartz, moonstone and a breast cancer ribbon bead,” she says. “My second design was the 7 Chakra healing bracelet. I donated the proceeds to fundraiser events, and they sold out.” She adds, “Although we lost Kady too early, she continues to be an inspiration.”
Bozzetti’s designs are often created around a theme. Examples include the Save the Bee Collection, the Zodiac Collection, the Buddha Collection and the Men’s Collection, which incorporates African turquoise double-wrapped with deerskin leather. She also designs jewelry for bridesmaids that coordinates with their dresses.
The most common example of jewelry tapping into the metaphysical is the use of birthstones, Bozzetti says, and she works with clients to design around birth months or zodiac signs. Sagittarians, for example, are represented by blue quartz, amethyst, malachite and turquoise. “Red spinel, garnet or ruby are grouped with romantic love,” she says. “Black stones such as jet, obsidian and onyx are used to ground and protect.”
Quality gemstones go into her jewelry, many of them sourced from Rockhound Ridge Gem Mine in Sylva, whose staff, she says, give her time and attention when she is choosing the perfect stones. She is also inspired by her surroundings at the time she is creating. “If I’m in Key West, I tend to work with shells and pearls,” she says. “During the winters in Asheville, I like using clear crystal quartz.” Some of her raw gemstone pieces are featured at Asheville’s Best Gem Mine.
Her designs incorporate gemstones ranging from 3- to 6-millimeter beads—glossy, matte, faceted, chunky quartz, chips, cabochons—and raw, local gemstones. “Depending on their exposure to the elements, they form sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic crystals,” she says. “Many of them are simply gorgeous.” Other materials used in her designs include leather, suede, silk, hemp cord, velvet ribbon, copper, brass, silver and gold.
Often, color inspires a piece of jewelry. “For example,” she says, “bumblebee jasper works perfectly for my Save the Bee collection.”
Bozzetti says that success with any creative art business requires a mix of learning, dedication and perseverance, but is also helped along by family and friends. She feels a sense of gratitude to her daughters for helping her design new pieces and for modeling the completed work and to her son-in-law who has taught her the social media skills needed to be successful with an online business.
“To sum it all up, I love what I do,” Bozzetti says. “Working with gemstones allows me to feel the energy of that particular stone that I’m using at the time, and I love the satisfaction it brings to the wearer.”