Hello everyone, hope your week is going well. 

Pam and I work very hard on bringing in unique and top quality products to provide the highest quality experience for you. Sometimes there is a cool story behind a product or brand. People love to see and hear our stories in the store, so we thought we would start sharing them online.

We are starting a new blog series, labelled "Did You Know?", where we discuss one of our brands, products or processes, and go into more detail about it. We might showcase a how-to video, taste test, demonstration, or simply go into the story on why we chose this product and what made us feel like it was unique enough to offer it to our customers. We hope you enjoy this behind the curtains look into Turnmeyer Galleries. 

For our first post our Did You Know series, we are going to take a closer look at the stunning Dune jewelry line. 

Dune Jewelry Image

Dune Jewelry is a small business started in 2010. It's beautiful hand crafted jewelry, but what really sets this brand apart and makes it unique is what is inside. In most Dune pieces, there is a chamber that holds soil or sand from a special location. Customers literally get to wear a piece of jewelry incorporating earth from a special location. They have a HUGE bank of sand and soil from thousands of places from around the world. 

For example. Let's say you and your loved one were married in Key West, Florida. You might want to get a bracelet or necklace to remember that location by having the sand from Key West in the jewelry. 

Isn't that cool? That's Dune. 


Dune Jewelry

We first found out about Dune in November of 2020 through another vendor, Moonglow, that we have in the store. Moonglow, another unique brand that will get its own blog post shortly, has been with us for our entire journey. Moonglow and Dune had decided to do a collaboration to create a unique piece of jewelry. While we never decided to bring in the collaboration piece, learning of this introduced us to the Dune Jewelry line. 

We met the Dune team at a show in Atlanta in January 2021 where they took a look at the pieces and gauged their uniqueness for Turnmeyer Galleries. They also wanted to make sure Dune had a selection that matched the vibe of the local area as most Dune pieces are gear for a beach environment. 

While talking with the Dune reps we learned that they could also incorporate soil or sand from areas that we collect, and that we were not limited to only using what is in their "bank". That opened the door to true uniqueness. We could pick soil from the local area! We were pulled the trigger.  We placed the order for what they call the Delicate Dune Collection. 

Delicate Dune

The Delicate Dune Collection is a collection of anklets, bracelets and necklaces that are a smaller type of sterling silver jewelry. The goal of these are to be minimalistic for those who don't like huge pieces. We brought in three pendant types; a mountain, a bar and a sunburst. We felt that these three would fit our local vibe and feel. 

We also wanted to bring in a few larger pieces for those that didn't mind paying more for something extremely nice. We ended up going with a couple cuffs and pendent necklaces, you can see them all HERE. 

 Dune Sunburst Necklace

So mid January we left Atlanta with an order placed for Dune, but we had not decided what we wanted in it. In their bank there was an Appalachian Trail, which you may know runs through our local area. The issue was, that soil was from Maine. We obviously have no issues with Maine, but we truly wanted something local. It was time for Pam and I to get outdoors and do some collecting. 

We thought long and hard about what we wanted to incorporate. We decided that we wanted 2 soil types, but what would they be. Our natural resources are amazing. We have mountains, we have farmland, we have the Shenandoah River, etc. A lot to choose from. First choice people would think would be the Shenandoah National Park, that's a no-brainer except we couldn't. You are not allowed to take anything from a National Park as part of the "leave no trace" policy. We strictly adhere to that policy when in the park for photography workshops or personal hikes. We could not use the Shenandoah National Park. 

After much deliberation, Pam and I decided that we would go with the riverbed of the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We could find mountain soil somewhere outside of the park, and could easily get riverbed that showed some of the fresh water shells that you find in it all of the time. With that decided, it was now time to collect. 

We were told by Dune that to make the best look in the jewelry it was always better to have contrasting color. Darks and lights, varying colors, etc. We wanted to make sure that we kept this in mind as we collected our sample for the jewelry. 

First, the riverbed. We are kayaking on the river a lot, so this one was really easy. Finding the right spot was not. We knew we wanted some of the sandy soil, some of the white shells, and some of the colorful pebbles that you see on the bottom. We searched and searched and finally found an area that matched what we were looking for. We obtained our small sample size and soil #1 was complete. 

Next, it was time for the mountains. We knew that we wanted to incorporate multiple things into the mountain soil, but it would not be as easy bringing in color and contrast as it was for the riverbed. We decided to go out on one of our favorite hikes, we'll keep that our secret, and search for items as we hiked to incorporate in. Eventually we put together earth, creek pebbles from a mountain stream, fallen leaves and twigs. We felt that encompassed exactly what we wanted. Soil #2 was complete. 

After getting back home, it was now time to package everything up, label it, seal it up really good and send it to Dune. All was completed in one evening and the relief set in as our soil went out the next day to become jewelry. 

Fast forward a bit in time and the day came that our jewelry arrived. We loved the pieces that we picked out and the soil looked fantastic in them. Since that time we have brought in more pieces from Dune incorporating our soil, like the men's lava beaded bracelet, and more. All very unique, high quality. 

We hope you enjoyed this little look into how Dune came into Turnmeyer Galleries. We love the jewelry and its uniqueness. Stop by the store and let us show you it in person. We are location at 407 East Main Street in Front Royal, open 7 days a week. Or you can view all of the Dune collection that we offer on our website right now by clicking here

Look for our next blog post, coming soon! Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter where you get special discounts and learn about new products before anyone else. 

August 25, 2021 — Scott Turnmeyer

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