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LifestyleFashion and Shopping

At Orenda in Greenport, you can buy jewelry — and learn to make it 

Alexa Suess of Mattituck owns Orenda in Greenport

Alexa Suess of Mattituck owns Orenda in Greenport with designer Susan Pridham of Ridge (left). Credit: Estefany Molina

You can both buy jewelry made of recycled metals and learn to make it at Orenda in Greenport, a shop where the creations it sells are inspired by a native Iroquois concept.

"Orenda is a word with Iroquois roots referencing the power of human will to change fate; the power of the human hand connected with the heart," explains goldsmith Alexa Suess of Mattituck, who owns the shop with designer Susan Pridham of Ridge. "Susan came across it while reading one day and as makers [of jewelry and other items] it resonated deeply with both of us. To create something with your hands is to summon that inner voice and to have the privilege of sharing that with others is incredible."

Suess and Pridham opened the store, located at 29 Front St., in 2018 and the jewelry sold there includes rings, necklaces, cuffs and earrings all made from fine metals, typically sterling and gold. And the two owners make most of the jewelry in the back of the shop.

"Nothing is plated or filled meaning your pieces will last for generations … If you visit on the right day, you can get a glimpse of us working in our studio," Suess says. She adds that whenever possible, stones are used that are "untreated and ethically sourced" and "we try to have something for everyone."

In addition to jewelry, the shop also carries crystal and gem specimens. "Both of us are collectors and those gifts from the earth are some of our biggest inspirations. From citrine to apophyllite to enhydro agate, we have pieces for those just starting their collections to people who have been collecting for years and want something a little more uncommon."

Suess and Pridham also host classes and workshops on topics that Suess says that fit their love of art, science and ritual.

Topics include silversmithing, stone setting, fiber arts, plant care and more.

"Our goal is not only to provide unique and beautiful objects but also to share our knowledge and skills," Suess says. Classes start at $120 with all materials provided, and "need-based scholarships" are available.

Prices for items sold at the store range from earrings starting at $25 to rings that go up to $5,000. Store hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shop online at orendagreenport.com.

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