Madison Wolf made the switch from digital marketing in the corporate world to welding, buffing and designing jewelry on a daily basis.
She co-owns Studio SLVR, a silversmith workshop in Chaska that opened in early December 2022, with her dad Ryan Wolf and his twin brother Aaron Wolf. The studio specializes in permanent jewelry and workshops for custom ring making.
“This is new territory for me and I’ve been blown away, everyone has been so engaged, curious and excited to learn,” Madison Wolf said. “Teaching classes is fun and I get to meet a lot of really cool people.”
To follow trends, the studio offers permanent jewelry, a process in which a bracelet or necklace is welded on rather than using a clasp. Customers can choose from a variety of chains in sterling silver, 14K gold filled and 14K gold at their appointment.
“It’s something you can do for birthdays, girls’ nights or bachelorette parties… We see a lot of moms and daughters, so that’s really sweet,” Madison Wolf said. “It’s a really fun bonding experience, it’s a good way to commemorate a special occasion whether it’s a birthday or someone coming home for the holidays.”
The studio is located in what used to be the front office space of Chaska Self Store, a business owned by the twin brothers. The permanent jewelry ranges in price from $40-$160 depending on the metal.
Wolf noted that the permanent jewelry welding process is a safe one and has even had “girls as young as 14” as clients with the permission of a parent/guardian.
“We put a little piece of leather down underneath, too, just as a little safety precaution,” she said. “It’s quick and painless and, depending on the fitting process, takes between five and 10 minutes.”
Since Wolf recognizes that this “fun and popular” trend will likely die down in a few years, the focal point of the business is the silversmith workshops.
Studio SLVR offers customers a chance to “fully customize everything” in a ring style of their choice — from the band to the bezel to the gemstone. Studio SLVR uses a few different vendors for their gemstones, including a local vendor out of Edina.
“It’s really hard to find one vendor that is a catchall for everything. There’s so many different styles and different specifications,” Wolf said.
Wolf said she was able to pick up the simple welding technique needed for the permanent jewelry in a weekend, but it took a bit longer to learn silversmithing.
“It’s a very lengthy process, I’d say it took me about 50 rings to get proficient,” Wolf said. “But once you get the hang of it, it’s incredibly fun and so rewarding to be able to see your progress too.”
The customized ring-making process can take anywhere from two to three hours because “you’re starting purely from scratch, so it does take a little bit of time to offer that level of customization and making sure you get your ring size to be a perfect fit,” Wolf said.
All rings are made out of .925 silver, quality metal that Wolf assures “does not turn your fingers green.”
“All silver is a soft metal, so it’s going to tarnish with time. It takes about six months until I notice my rings tarnish. It’s one of those things where a little soap and water goes a long way,” Wolf said. “If you notice one specific spot, use a spare toothbrush with soap and water to clean it right up.”
The studio also collects and recycles all leftover silver through a local company. While the only color option for now is silver, Wolf hopes that in the future the studio can offer gold plating.
As the business continues to ramp up, Wolf said her dad and co-owner uncle are getting the hang of ring making, as well, and look forward to eventually teaching the workshops together.
“You have an opportunity to really connect with people and I think that’s another part of the workshops that are really special,” Wolf said. “It’s time where you’re not on your phone. You actually get to catch up with your daughter, sister, coworkers, or girlfriends.”
Appointments are available for these workshops Wednesday through Saturday. The starting price is $55, which covers all the standard silver options. Through the customization process, certain customizations may cost a bit more. Gemstones are priced individually and can vary based on rarity and size.