Arek Jewelry, a rebranded business created by UNT alumna Kera Dockins, offers a wide range of handmade jewelry. Dockins first started her journey in 2015 when her mother’s business, NamaTags, was passed down to her.
NamaTags sold hand-stamped metal cuffs and necklaces, but when COVID-19 hit, Kera wanted to restructure the business.
“This past year, I decided to add different chains and pendants to my collection because I wanted to be able to offer products that all ages would be interested in,” Dockins said. “I specifically wanted to reach out to a younger audience, which is why I added chokers and colorful pendants to my shop.”
Now with more of a variety of products to sell and a different audience, NamaTags was rebranded into Arek Jewelry. Dockins changed the name because she wanted to introduce a minimalistic look and represent the change in her company.
“Many people ask what Arek means, probably expecting a more interesting answer,” Dockins said. “It’s always funny to see their reactions when I tell them it is just my name spelled backwards.”
Dockins graduated from UNT in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in music. With newfound free time due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Dockins was able to devote her time to perfecting Arek Jewelry.
“Needless to say, my schedule was as open as it had ever been, which was quite daunting and a huge mental challenge,” Dockins said. “So, I decided I needed to focus my energy on something creative, which was my jewelry. This was such a great coping mechanism and definitely provided so much peace and comfort during such a difficult time.”
Daniel An, business freshman and Arek Jewelry customer, said he stumbled across the shop’s website when browsing for a gift for his mother’s birthday.
“I don’t have much knowledge on jewelry, but I chose silver earrings and my mom adored them,” An said.
An said handmade jewelry makes gifts different from purchasing from well-known companies because of the care put into each product.
Each handmade jewelry piece has a distinct creation processes. Dockins will shape, file metal, add a pendant to a chain, hand stamp and make simple attachments to make her jewelry pieces.
Dockins’ handmade products are meant to be worn frequently, without metal tarnishing.
“I specifically make jewelry that is meant to be lived in through sweat, showers and more, while holding its original form,” Dockins said. “I want people to be able to wear the pieces 24/7 if they want to. I wanted to create jewelry that people can wear every day without worry, but I also wanted to show people that good quality jewelry doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars.”
Elizabeth Jones, Southern Methodist University senior and Arek Jewelry customer, said she loves the ring she purchased from Dockins. The ring was one of the first products Dockins created.
“I’ve known the owner for a long time and supported her business when it was still NamaTags,” Jones said. “I support her business because I know how much work she puts into making each piece beautiful and unique.”
Now that her business has been rebranded, Dockins said her goal is to make her shop her main source of income.
“I have some plans to create a whole new collection sometime soon, consisting of metalsmithing and lots of different kinds of stones,” Dockins said. “This will allow my jewelry to be even more hand-crafted and special and unique. I also have some soldering projects in the works, so keep an eye out for that.”
Those interested in Arek Jewelry can find her work on Instagram @arekjewelry and on her website.
Courtesy Arek Jewelry