Connecting to Culture Through Jade: Q&A with Dyme Designs

That’s a wrap on this cohort of the Seattle Restored Marketplace! This cohort has hosted countless Shop & Sip events, helped to bolster the Seattle small business community, and collaborated to create a multifaceted, vibrant, and culturally diverse experience.

Finishing up with our Q&As with this cohort is Christina Chan. Christina makes Chinese-inspired jewelry with her father, with a particular passion for authentic jade. We at Seattle Restored hope you’ll continue to support these small businesses as they graduate on to bigger and better endeavors.

Christina Chan of Dyme Designs poses with a Jade jewelry piece at the Seattle Restored Collective Marketplace.
Photo credit GrowingBoyMedia

Q: What drew you to creating your business idea?

A: Jewelry and art are an integral part of my life. Ever since I was a toddler, I traveled with my family to markets and art shows across the states. I come from a family of makers. Eight years ago, I created Dyme Designs to creatively express myself.

As a child, I would make small bracelets for fun, and the hobby grew into a business. Over time, I started to create Chinese inspired jewelry that reminds me of my heritage. My family are immigrants and because I was not born in China, as an Asian American, I felt some disconnection to my own culture. Creating and designing jewelry became an outlet for me to learn and express my pride in my culture. My father now supports me in my entrepreneurial journey and makes many of our jewelry. 


Q: Why did you want to participate in the Seattle Restored program?

A: I have been experimenting with the idea of looking for a storefront. I wanted to participate in this program to get an insight on how it would feel like to manage a storefront. `


Q: What’s it like working with other participants on the Collective?

A: It’s been an honor to work with the other participants. I learned about their art, why they do what they love, and shared our collective experiences being artists in Seattle. 


Christina Chan (center) talks with customers at the Seattle Restored Collective Marketplace.
Photo credit GrowingBoyMedia

Q: Has this experience changed your thinking about how to proceed with your business in the future?

A: I’ve gained more insight into how I would like to manage my future storefront. I’ll continue working on a hybrid business model that allows me to work at both storefronts, host events, be in markets and continue to stock my inventory at local stores and boutiques.


Q: Has your experience with Seattle Restored so far opened up other opportunities? 

A: I’ve participated in markets that I’ve never done before such as at the Seattle Symphony Market that amplified Asian makers. Through this opportunity I connected with other small business owners and we plan to collaborate in the future. 


Q: Anything else you want readers to know?

A: Dyme Designs specializes in jade jewelry, wire-wrapped creations, and crystal art for space decor. Our pieces are inspired by Chinese culture, philosophy, and nature. We create, curate, and source beautiful authentic jade jewelry.

In Chinese and many Asian cultures, jade is highly revered. Jade is believed to bring abundance and prosperity and to protect the wearer from negative energy. I enjoy designing and incorporating modern designs with beautiful high-quality jade.

We also carry more traditional styles such as bangles, a jewelry piece that is often gifted by elders to younger generations. A modern interpretation to the traditional bangle is jade permanent jewelry. We now offer permanent jewelry services on a monthly basis through local pop up locations in Seattle. Furthermore, we recently launched our first fine jewelry design that combines jade with solid gold. Within the next two years, we will complete a series of jade and gold fine jewelry designs that center on the theme of Eternal Jade, cultural timeless jewelry that is made to last. 

I am most proud of continuing my family legacy of being a small business owner who creates cultural jewelry that community can connect to. It’s a joy to be able to work with my family and share our love of jade to the community. Being in space with community and art gives me joy. Through community markets, I connect with community members and support their journey in choosing their jade. In many ways, me connecting to jade reminds me of my ancestors. Many of my customers would share similar stories of sentimental value, showing how powerful jewelry can be. It’s an honor to listen to these generational stories.


Christina Chan of Dyme Designs poses in front of the storefront at the Seattle Restored Collective Marketplace.
Photo credit GrowingBoyMedia


Address: 1503 5th Ave

Seattle, WA 98101

Dates: January 14 – April 23


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