We all know it’s great to shop local, and when those stores carry locally handcrafted products, it’s even better! Kira Geddes, artist and owner of Casa Kira, says she hears from gift shop and boutique buyers that they want to carry local products and customers ask for them, they are just not sure how to proceed. Many buyers are visited by sales reps who bring them glossy catalogs filled with products manufactured all over the world. Ordering products this way seems easy and is also just how it has been done for many years. Native born Tucson artist Geddes runs her business completely differently. It is important to her that local shops carry her handcrafted jewelry.
Geddes has worked hard to connect with local buyers and many have begun to discover the benefits of dealing with a local artist. “Being right here in Tucson makes me very accessible. Sometimes a shop employee will call me and put their customer on the phone to inquire about a product,” says Geddes. Getting to talk directly with the artist is a very satisfying experience. Additionally, if something is not selling, items can be easily changed out. Stores are not stuck with inventory that doesn’t sell. And, with local delivery, there is no freight cost for shops to factor into pricing.
There is no Casa Kira catalog because the product lines are ever-changing with no two items exactly alike. When Geddes meets with buyers, she brings cases of freshly made jewelry. In Tucson some buyers like to hand pick each piece. Others will have Geddes choose selections for them, especially if they’re outside of the Tucson area such as the Willcox Chamber of Commerce or the Zonies Galleria in Sedona. Geddes has built those relationships so she can simply send an assortment of jewelery.
Casa Kira is now celebrating its 10th year in business. One of the first shops that carried the jewelry was the Tucson Museum of Art Museum Store which still carries it. “It was really exciting and fun for me to be in the Museum Store at the Tucson Museum of Art, ” said Kira, “because I grew up a few blocks away in the El Presidio neighborhood. When I was little, friends and I would roller-skate right where the lobby is now.” This was before an extensive renovation and expansion of the museum.
Another milestone for Geddes was when local bookstore, Antigone Books, began buying from her. “Casa Kira being sold at Antigone Books was a dream for me. I’ve been shopping there for over 25 years, and it’s still one of my favorite Tucson businesses.” Crizmac Art & Cultural Marketplace is another locally owned shop selling Geddes’ work.
One of the newest locations to find Casa Kira jewelry is the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort gift shop. Geddes met the buyer while attending the November Local First Arizona networking mixer. “I have always thought it’s such a beautiful property, and I think the Hacienda Del Sol style and Casa Kira are a perfect fit,” said Geddes.
Many local shops carrying Casa Kira jewelry including: The University Medical Center Gift Shop, Art House Centro at Old Town Artisans, Whimsy Boutique, Hilton El Conquistador Resort, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, and Blue Willow in Tucson and The Open Door “Too” in Glendale. Sign up for the Casa Kira email list to be invited to craft shows and open studio events by emailing Kira at CasaKira@Cox.net. See photographs of new work on the CasaKira Facebook page.