Benny and Valerie Aldrich met while attending Northern Arizona University. Having a little money, they began making their jewelry for Christmas presents, while Benny worked as a tradesman and Valerie raised their family in Jerome, Arizona. Their early pieces consisted of shell inlays and the occasional concho belt. To augment their income, the couple sold pipestone and serpentine from local Arizona quarries to Santo Domingo, a New Mexico pueblo famous for its bead makers. When asked what their raw materials would look like as beads, the Aldrich’s began to drill and ground beads from the rough stone they sold.
The Aldrich’s were among the first artisans to use gemstones and spiny oyster for inlay, using only the best natural gemstones and other traditional materials. Only the highest quality of natural raw materials is used in their jewelry.
They now live in Durango, Colorado and continue to follow their passion for inlay jewelry and silver.