Why I started Keepsake Foundry
My name is Simon, an Australian living on the beautiful Coast in Queensland.
I started Keepsake Foundry with one goal in mind... to design and make keepsake rings that make a difference in people's lives. This is not a story of mass production or replication, as an artisan, it's about listening to people's stories, hearing about their loved ones, their family, heritage, those that have passed, or events that changed my customers lives for good or not. Then I go out in search of a coin, the right coin that connects to the wearer, to their story, to be a keepsake for them and those it is passed on to in the future.
It all started with two rings
My first two coin rings were for a dear friend and his wife, both retired veterans, one from the Navy, the other from the Army, where he served in active duty in VietNam, and still suffers all the costs of real combat. The rings I made were from coins they gave me that were special to them both, coins they'd kept hidden away in a drawer. I offered to change that, to make them both rings they could wear with pride to remind them of their accomplishments and their huge contribution to our great nation.
Two became four, and so it grew
As it's often said, the rest is history. The stories (many of them) followed as did the rings. A facebook page and 20 posts later, the connections continued, first with people in my hometown of the Sunshine Coast, then in other states across Australia, and suddenly I was hearing life stories from people in New Zealand, Canada, America, Japan, London, Hong Kong, and it continues to grow.
A few stories along the way
While obviously I would love to share all the stories, there are far too many and too few words available, and some are just too personal. That said, a couple that jump out to help support my "why" in starting Keepsake Foundry. There is Aaron, a one year recovering alcoholic who sent me his AA token and asked me to turn it into a ring and engrave the date of the start of his journey, Damian who handed me his Great Grandfather's 1904 English Penny that had been passed down three generations and he wanted to wear it with pride instead of leaving it in a drawer, or Kerry from Country Australia who sent me five coins from her grandfather's collection (who had recently passed) and asked me to make rings for all her sons to help them remember their Pop, or a Father and Son who asked me to make them matching coin rings from their family's country of origin, so they will always be connected.
A humbling moment
There are hundreds, but the one that stands out the most, that humbled me deeply, is a recent ring I made for Kylie whose partner Paul is in hospital getting a heart transplant, critically ill and may not make it through at just 50 year old. She asked me to find a coin and make a ring from Paul's father's country of origin and birth year to give him strength, as he always looked up to his Dad as the strongest person he knows.
That is my reason for Keepsake Foundry. At 54 and life of experience, I've found my way back to something I truly love again! I am lucky to do what I do as Artisan, like other craft men and women who get to design and make beauty to be worn, many of us are lucky enough to really connect with our clients in a way that last forever, I just never realised the affect their stories would have on me.