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Made By Mom Gift Guide: Local jewelry business features local designs, Chilean craftsmanship

Ivania Gutierrez grew up in Chile and lived in Sweden for four years before moving to the Triangle in 2012 because of her husband‘s job. She was working as a logistics coordinator for a company in Chapel Hill when she got pregnant.

“I was told that I had six weeks after my baby was born to come back to the job,” said Gutierrez, now a mom of three.

While that‘s a pretty standard leave policy for many U.S. companies, Guitierrez was shocked. In Sweden, workers get 480 days of maternity leave, which can be shared between the mom and the dad. In Chile, moms get six months.

“So I started looking for something to do that I really like and allows me to be home with my kids,” she tells me.

That‘s how her business , offering handmade jewelry from Chile, got its start. Gutierrez and her business are featured in this year‘s Made By Mom Gift Guide. Here‘s a Q&A with more details about her work and her beautiful pieces.

Go Ask Mom: How did you get your start?

Ivania Gutierrez: In my first trip to Chile once I was living in North Carolina, I met two artisans who were working the glass so beautifully and I asked them if they could do my designs on the glass. So I started Chilean Charm which is basically – as a customer told me once, and I loved her phrase – where local meets the world. As I design and assemble these unique pieces, I partner with groups of artisans to produce the pieces.

Every part of the process from the design to the cutting of the glass to the fusion into the kiln and the assembling is handmade. That is why I named my business Chilean Charm because it represents all the energy, love and passion with which every unique piece is made.

GAM: What do you offer?

IG: Chilean Charm is handcrafted fused glass jewelry. It is beautiful jewelry that can be worn for any occasion, both dressy and casual. Every part of the process to obtain these beautiful and unique pieces is handmade. The glass is cut, painted and covered between panels with exclusive designs and then goes to the kiln where the colors are fused with glass, resulting in wonderful small pieces of art.

GAM: What do you love about what you do?

IG: I love so many things about my Chilean Charm business. One is get to know people at the craft shows at Apex Farmers Market. People stop by my booth not only to browse and buy things. We have a magical moment and connection when we have the chance to chat and know more about them – the plans with family they have or that next trip they are taking or small things that makes them happy or sad. I get a better understanding of others‘ lives and surroundings. That is finally how I understand happiness- hearing about those great and small moments and connecting, learning more about life through knowing other’s realities.

I also love that people can know more about Chile and our culture. We are known to be a country of good wines and beautiful landscapes, but we also have a lot of talented artisans and artist. We have Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, Isabel Allende amazing writers and so on.

I love the fact that I can still contribute economically to my house and manage my time and be with my kids, not missing their performances at school, taking them to school and getting to know more about their daily lives.

GAM: How do you hope your business will grow over time?

IG: I have no big pretensions for now as I have limited time to dedicate to the business. I also work as Zumba instructor. So, for now, I will keep my online, craft shows and consignment sales.

GAM: How can people find you and your jewelry?

IG: I have a website where people can buy online at and get free shipping.

I have my pieces in seven stores in the area and I do different craft shows during the year. To find more about dates and times of these craft shows people can always .

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