By Women, For Women

Cynthia Jankowski, owner of The Aspen Hive, has created a gathering place for the ladies

How did you come to own a jewelry store in Aspen?
The space where my store is now has been a jewelry store for more than 50 years; my mom would bring me here to shop when I was a little girl. I had worked in the previous store for 10 years when the owner walked in one day and said something to the effect of “I'm closing, good luck to you.’ It was horrible. Shortly after, the landlord called me and offered me the lease. She said, ‘I want you to keep going because I know that you're good at what you do, and we need to keep you in town.’

Tell us about the store now. How did you choose Aspen Hive as the name?
I had been thinking I’d love a coffee shop named The Hive. Then a friend suggested I go ahead and use the name for this store. And I thought, well, it's female bees that build a hive. I decided to seek out women goldsmiths and designers from across the U.S. Through my connections in the industry, social media, and word of mouth, I’ve been able to find talented women who want to be a part of this—a gathering space for women.

What’s the best part of owning your store?
I love being able to bring back what I remember as a little girl—going into mom-and-pop stores and having a real local person there. That's what I’m trying to create—a sense of community and a place where locals feel comfortable coming into and shopping. You know, not everybody can afford to shop at Gucci and Prada.

And the support has been unreal; people want to support me. I work really hard to find affordable, wearable jewelry that are meaningful to people. And so many kind, genuine, real people come in and want to support me. And I couldn't ask for more.

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