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Local Jewelers Have 'Got' Marbles and Expanded Hours
by Jenn Hopkins
As Downtown Tucson continues to evolve and draw in new blood, some old blood is also stirring. If you’ve ever walked down Congress, you may have noticed an unassuming entryway across from the Ronstadt Center with leaf-like bars and little mural above the door that says “Got All Your Marbles?” and found yourself puzzled, marble-status notwithstanding.
Open for 17 years come October, but only on Second Saturdays for the last few, Got All Your Marbles is owned by Tucson locals Lisa Stotska and William Skiles, who originally rented the space as a personal art studio. It was also an art gallery representing twenty-five artists during the peak of Downtown Saturday Nights in the mid 90s. When the influx of people began to ebb, William came up with an idea for interchangeable jewelry. This idea would become the basis of Got All Your Marbles.
“He came up with the first clip design and we took a batch of thirty pieces to the Beverly Hills Art Show and completely sold out! We’ve been making and selling ever since. We now have three patents on the tension mechanism,” said Stotska. “When we started, we originally sat on the floor with cups making marble kits. Each piece comes with a bag of marbles, the most popular ring comes with twenty. That’s like buying twenty rings for the price of one, with the option of buying additional styles if you still want more! The simple but exquisite design has even been included in the Emmy and Academy Award gift bags.
William is a traditional jeweler, and we started out making the pieces sterling silver line, and as I was doing the gift shows I realized that we were missing the mark on not supplying hospital gift shops and other retail outlets besides our own. Now we have silver-plated, and gold-plated silver as well; and the key chains come in bronze and brass.” They do take custom orders if you feel that solid gold is more your style.
The revitalization of Congress and the Downtown area has encouraged the shop to reopen its doors on a more permanent basis starting in October. The pair is big on having a mostly green product and working within the local community. The fancy-sized marbles are made from recycled glass from West Virginia, and the silver is purchased from a local coin shop. “We used to do forty-two art shows a year at our peak, and now we’re down to maybe six,” Stotska said, smiling. “I want to feel like I’m supporting my neighbors. It feels right to be here and be active. It feels like it’s time to get plugged back in.”
While you may be imagining the older tarnished marbles of your childhood playground days, they are a far cry from these orbs of polished glass. The tension clasp is available in five different sizes to accommodate the different-sized marbles from “itty bitty” to “whopper”. In addition to the variety of glass marbles, there is a wide selection of stones and metals available. Got All Your Marbles offers rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and cufflinks, so you are sure to find something that calls out to you and suits your personality (even if your personality screams itty bitty 8 balls.)
Do you have all your marbles? Because we know where to find them—right on Congress. Got All Your Marbles is located at 220 E. Congress.