Our Story: Connecting to History through Wearable Artifacts

Woman-Owned, Family-Operated

Compass Rose Design is a woman-owned, family-operated jewelry company founded by Creek and Johnny Van Houten in 2009. Our work is inspired by our curiosity about history and treasures collected through our travels. As a small family business, we love working with folks who share our appreciation of quality, craft and authenticity. Creek is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area women artisan entrepreneur group, the Creative Pursuit Collective

Tell your Story with Wearable Artifacts

Compass Rose Design is inspired by the history of small things, 1870-1970, a century that bridges the old world and the modern era. Each charm and talisman celebrates love, creativity, and culture through the hidden stories of vintage keepsakes: buttons, keys, charms, and clocks. Weaving together modern designs with vintage stories, we translate these historic objects into wearable treasures. Handcrafted in Northern California.

Values-Based, Ethical Business

We are a values-based business. When you wear our work, we want you to feel beautiful and also know you are doing good. We are committed to an ethical production process and supply chain as well as working towards a more equitable world. We do our own metalwork in our studio just north of San Francisco. We work with chains and components made in the US. Our bronze, sterling and gold components are made from recycled metals. Our metal supplier is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council. We choose to work with suppliers who support Black Lives Matter and a diverse jewelry industry, including Rio Grande and Otto Frei.

 metalsmithing tools

Cultivating Future Artisans & Women Entrepreneurs

The world needs more entrepreneurs, makers and leaders who are women and people of color. It is our goal to help cultivate this next generation of makers and artisan entrepreneurs by helping young people gain skills and confidence in technology, collaboration and real-world problem-solving. We donate a portion of our profits to the Crucible an organization in Oakland, California that empowers young working artists through hands-on creative education. We also donate to We Wield the Hammer, a hands-on training program for women of African descent in Oakland and Dakar. 

We're passionate about creating meaningful, high-quality keepsakes with a story that matters.

Stay curious!

Owner, Artist