- Associated Press - Sunday, January 7, 2018

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - A copper crown on his head and hoops in his ears, 12-year-old Simon Gomez was adorned in jewelry he had made.

The Mount Vernon boy has been making jewelry since he was 6, when he first strung beads together after coming across his mother’s bead box.

Simon’s mother, Jennifer Gomez, said when Simon was in second grade he had to make a poster of what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“He wanted to be a jeweler,” she said.

Now, Simon’s own jewelry line, “Simon Made,” is sold at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.

“It was a hobby until I really sold stuff,” Simon said. “Once you start making that much jewelry, you’ve got to get rid of it.”

Since the days of going through his mother’s bead box, Simon has expanded into using copper, silver, rocks and gems to create the ornate earrings, bracelets and rings he sells not only at the co-op but at local farmers markets and art shows.

“The co-op has been selling as much as he can make,” Jennifer Gomez said.

Entrepreneurship, Jennifer Gomez said, is in Simon’s blood. His father and grandparents are entrepreneurs as well.

She said Simon manages his own expenses and supply, and that he is turning a profit.

Whether it’s working with fine copper wire for earrings or thicker gauge metal for bracelets and crowns, Simon said he learned to do everything himself.

“He spends pretty much all his time making a display (for his jewelry), making jewelry or obsessing over stones,” Jennifer Gomez said.

Recently, Jennifer Gomez said Simon went to a rock and gem show in China with his grandparents. While his grandparents were looking for larger treasures, Simon was scooping the fragments - more appropriately sized for jewelry - off the floor.

“I really like the rocks,” Simon said of the emeralds, opals, aquamarine, moonstones and labradorite he’s been using lately to create rings.

With her own set of copper earrings and even a copper case for her YMCA membership card, Jennifer Gomez is Simon’s go-to model and also one of his marketers.

“Something that’s really fun about his work is it’s elemental, and it’s different,” said Jennifer Gomez. “And he makes it all.”


Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com

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