Our Story


Ethically made, high quality, historically-inspired jewelry for daily wear. 

Inspired by Hidden Stories of Everyday Objects

Our designs are inspired by the history of small things and a curiosity about the ways they reveal the story of fashion, innovation and culture. Johnny's great-grandmother was a milliner and our first designs are based on her button collection. Our jewelry collection translates these historic objects - buttons, keys, clocks and other everyday artifacts, into designs for modern life with our signature metal designs.  

Handmade in the US with Recycled Metals

We are committed to an ethical production process and supply chain. We do our own metalwork and production in our studio just north of San Francisco, and our casting is done by a small shop in Seattle using recycled metal. We work with chains and components made in the US. Our metal supplier is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and provides recycled metals whenever possible. With few exceptions, our sterling silver and gold is recycled.


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 as well as Bay Area Made

 metalsmithing tools

Cultivating Future Artisans & Women Entrepreneurs

We believe that the world needs more women entrepreneurs, makers and leaders. It is our goal to cultivate the 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 Institute for Applied Tinkering, an organization that empowers kids through hands-on creative education. 

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

Stay curious!