When Ahwatukee Foothills resident Kim Kiefer got divorced just over a year ago she knew it was time to do something different. She wanted some extra income, but she also wanted to pursue something more creative and artistic than anything she had done professionally before.
The idea came to her after a friend taught her how to mosaic and while on her daily runs down Pecos Road, Kiefer began to notice how much broken glass there was on the side of the road. She began to collect some of the glass and made herself a belt buckle with an antique necklace from her grandmother.
“So many people began to notice it and thought it was so cool,” she said.
Friends began to bring her items and broken glass, and the idea of turning broken glass and old jewelry into fashionable belt buckles took off.
To make the project even more meaningful and personal, Kiefer decided to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from her belt buckles to the Sojourner Center for domestic violence victims.
“I know so many women that are divorced and having a hard time getting back on their feet,” Kiefer said. “That’s why the Sojourner Center tugged at my heart strings. These battered women are trying to pick up the broken pieces of their lives. It went so well with the idea of using broken glass. I was happy to combine the idea of upcycling with working with the Sojourner Center.”
The different colors and types of glass Kiefer has found on the side of the road and from donations from friends has led to some beautiful and unique belt buckles. Kiefer said she has found entire windshields as well as all kinds of liquor bottles along Pecos Road. She has had several friends donate empty wine bottles to her projects. The buckles are also decorated with embellishments that come from antique brooches or old necklaces.
“Think of how many things break that mean something to you like your grandmother’s china or a drinking glass,” Kiefer said. “Some of these trinkets I’ve had sitting in a jewelry box for years. This could really be endless.”
Kiefer has named her business “Beautifully Broken.” She came up with the name while brainstorming with some friends at a local restaurant. As soon as someone said the name a waiter nearby dropped a wine glass and it shattered on the floor.
“It was an absolute sign that that was the name,” she said. And yes, Kiefer was able to collect that broken glass to reuse in a buckle.
To find out more about the buckles, visit facebook.com/beautifullybrokenbuckles or call (602)-793-1545.
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