BYU student turns love of rocks into jewelry business

Zach Burkard harnesses his love of stones and energy to create meaningful jewelry. Burkard makes all the jewelry by hand in her small apartment. (Tenley Hale)

BYU student Zach Burkard uses his lifelong love of rocks to create meaningful jewelry for his business Focused Stones.

“I’ve always liked rocks,” Burkard said. “As a child, I always had rocks in my pocket that I collected from the world around me.”

Burkard has a passion for making ethically sourced jewelry. He does this by contacting the person who mined the stone so that his customers can know where the stone came from and be confident in its quality.

Burkard said, “I’ve mined the stones over the past two years and accumulated enough that, starting next year, every piece of jewelry I make will be made from stones I’ve cut and polished myself.”

Zach Burkard works in a stone quarry with his girlfriend, Olivia Rigby. The two work together to create new jewelry designs. (Photo courtesy of Zach Burkard)

Burkard works with his girlfriend, Olivia Rigby, to mine stones and make jewelry to sell in local markets.

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“We usually choose stones that call to us and really experiment with the designs,” Rigby said. “The fact that everything is handmade and mined by us is what really sets Centered Stones apart from the rest.”

Burkard explained that stones and crystals can be healing and that he hopes to create unique and beautiful ways for people to have those healing properties with them at all times.

Burkard started the jewelery making business in July 2021. He explained that the inspiration to start Centered Stones came from the spiritual influences around him. While serving a mission in the Philippines, Burchard was introduced to Buddhism.

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Burkard said, “Buddhism really opened my mind to new aspects of spirituality.”

After returning home, Burchard attended a retreat in Mexico where she became certified in energy work and guided meditation. Burchard credits his sister-in-law, Bre Burchard, for acting as his guide to the world of crystals.

“Zack has always had a natural curiosity about stones and crystals, especially when he comes over to my house and sees all the crystals I might have laying around,” said Bre Burchard. “When it comes to learning what all the different crystals and stones mean and how they can help us, he’s been like a sponge.”

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Brea Burkard explained that crystals and stones are a gift from the earth to humans that can support the energy in their lives. She explained that having crystals in your life can help you better connect with the earth and yourself.

“You know you are getting top quality stones when you buy from Centered Stones,” said Bre Burchard. “It’s like shopping at Walmart versus Restoration Hardware.”

Zach Burkard explained that Utah has been a very favorable environment for starting a small business, especially because so many people in Utah are entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“It’s really something I treat as a hobby and passion project and as soon as it becomes something that’s focused on money, I try to pull myself back and do something that I enjoy I find what I love,” said Zach Burkard.

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