If you order a pair of Ruby and Revolver earrings, they will arrive in a small box fastened together with a strip of ribbon and a handwritten note. Inside the box will sit a small pinch of dried lavender or perhaps a few rose buds, plucked carefully from Montana soil by the same two hands that created the piece of jewelry resting beneath them.
Those two hands belong to Jessie Lewis, a self-taught metalsmith and owner of Ruby and Revolver. Equal parts gracious and gritty, Lewis spends much of her time crafting beautiful pieces of wearable art, largely from reclaimed metal, in a studio attached to the side of her home.
These days, that home includes one bright-eyed, curious toddler. In addition to running her own business, Jessie can often be found running around the house and surrounding woods chasing her daughter Indie, whom she lovingly refers to as a free-range kid.
“There's no such thing as a typical day,” Jessie laughs. “Not with a one-year-old. I generally try to start my day spending time with Indie and having coffee. We go for a hike or a walk every morning, just to get out. I really hope to give her a sense of adventure and connection to the natural world. I think there are infinite ways that it benefits us.”
You could say that Indie is lucky to be raised in such a unique environment, but luck has little to do with it. Within minutes of stepping inside Jessie’s world it quickly becomes apparent that her jewelry isn’t the only thing made with incredible intention, hard work, creativity, and attention to detail - her whole life is handcrafted.
Jessie and her husband Kyle built their rustic mountain home themselves, complete with a 12-foot climbing wall in their living room. Her studio is artfully adorned with trinkets and treasures that are practically dripping with stories, and a vibrant array of stones are scattered across countertops and tables. Now, with a growing family in need of a bit more elbow room, they’re building a new house on the property nearby and constructing a mobile studio from the bones of a Stealth utility trailer.
With roots twisted deep into the Bitterroot Valley region of Montana, Jessie draws much of her inspiration from the natural world. Gorgeous mountains, rushing rivers, and towering evergreens make up the rugged terrain surrounding her small town.
“The landscape influences my work all the time, sometimes in very direct ways,” she explains. “Some of my first pieces, 12 years ago, were little mountainscapes I etched into silver. But then there’s also the way it creeps into my work more subtly, through colors and textures and a sort of organic feeling.”
That organic feeling, together with years of dedication to refining her craft, results in the type of well-made, one-of-a-kind pieces you can’t find just anywhere; which is why it comes as no surprise that her listings are often sold out within minutes of going live.
“For a while, after Indie was born, I felt this pressure to create more. Some people were frustrated with not being able to purchase something. I was trying to make my jewelry faster, more streamlined. But I didn’t feel good about it. I want my work to be slow and intentional, to really put my heart and soul into every single piece. That just doesn’t work on a larger scale.”
Ruby and Revolver is a one-woman show, operating purposefully in the spaces between raising a child, building a new home and studio, and the ever-evolving ups and downs of life. This means demand often exceeds supply, but those who see value in the preservation of an age-old craft don’t mind. In a world where we’ve come to expect that we can buy exactly what we want, when we want it, there are some things that are quite simply, well worth the wait.