January 13, 2020
My name is Shawn and I am Owner and Creative Director of Sierra Moon. I want to share a little bit of the journey I have been on that lead me here to this seat at the table. Auburn is an incredibly special place and I count my blessings every day that I get to live this life, with my husband, with my kids and with my incredible team at Sierra Moon.
After college, my hubby Brad and I went on a voyage in search of a place to call home. A place to raise children where we could give back to the community in which we lived. Having gone to Chico State, studying Product Design and Art History, respectively, I was pushing for us to make a home there. But Brad had a gut feeling there was somewhere else out there for us. So, we traveled around the North State on the weekends and allowed ourselves to wander on back roads. Sooncame a fortuitous visit to Auburn to buy a kayak from a friend. As we wound up Wise Road coming up and off the valley floor, I was becoming more enchanted with each corner we took. Once we came into town, we were both immediately enchanted by the character of the buildings, the rolling hills and the “nookiness” of the streets. There felt like there was so much to explore in such a small space. Later that night, we found ourselves nestled into Old Town Pizza. As the place buzzed, with healthy, happy people we looked at each other and said, this is it. So, in February of 2007, up we came to claim Auburn as our own.
Fast forward thirteen amazing years, a marriage, two gorgeous children and here wefind ourselves tucked right back into Old Town looking across the street at the very place where we decided to move here. Talk about full circle! So, let’s slow down fora minute and talk about just how I got here, writing this blog, for this incredibly special custom jewelry boutique that I now get to call my very own.
Having studied Art History and Italian Studies in Chico, as well as Florence, Italy, I realized during that time that not only did I love the arts, but that I loved livingartists. Yes, there is so much beauty in the past and my goodness, the inspiration that I draw from for my designs is so often from ancient history. But what I truly love is the artist, standing right in front of you. Maybe that’s why I fell so hard for Brad at Chico. Lol. He was actively learning glassblowing when we met and for anyone who has watched a glassblower create, it is mesmerizing. Apparently, that mesmerizing aspect worked its way right into my heart. Any who, back to the story at hand! After a year long internship in the University Gallery on campus, I was dead set that I wanted to manage art galleries. A blank art gallery is like a huge canvas in which the paint and brush was instead other artists’ work that I could carefully and creatively put together in such a way that it made the viewer see beauty where they may not have before. So, there began my career in the gallery world.
As one would imagine there are not so many art gallery jobs in our nooky, little foothill town. But boy, did I get so lucky to have landed myself at the right time. Timing is everything, right? PlacerArts, a non-profit arts council was just turning
over a Gallery Manager position in what is now the Gomez Center in downtown. I still can’t believe the serendipity of it all. For five years, I got to create, from scratch, all my own art shows, receptions, gatherings, make a “home for artists”, and spread my wings creatively. I was in heaven. During that time, I was encouraged to enter the KVIE Art Auction competition that was held live on air at the television station in Sac. I still pinch myself about this, but my gallery won the Best Gallery in the Sacramento region! Such a great feat. Those times were so special.
But all good things must come to an end, and oh the next chapter is so good! Or maybe it’s a whole book!! From PlacerArts, I stepped into the manager position at Sierra Moon. I had run into Linda Pierce, the previous owner, at an event at the State Theater and she proposed the idea to me. And I thought, “Hmmmm...well, I love jewelry and it is just little, tiny sculptures. I’m in!” Best decision I ever made (of course, that comes right after marrying Brad and having our two children!). So, starting in the summer of 2011 I managed the front of house at Sierra Moon and had the sweet pleasure of meeting over thirty years’ worth of clients. Now of course there are so many stories I can tell, and I will get to those another time. But I’ll finish with this. Being an employee at Sierra Moon under John Lynch and Linda Pierce was the most fun job I had ever had. I mean, come on!...daily we created pieces of jewelry that entered into people’s lives and will be passed down through the generations. I hold that so incredibly dear to my heart and look forward to meeting each and every one of you...Auburn and beyond!
With Love, Shawn
Owner + Creative Director