BYU student Zach Burkard uses his lifelong love of rocks to create valuable jewelry for his business.
“I’ve always loved rocks,” Burkard said. “When I was a kid, I had rocks in my pocket that I would collect from the world around me.”
Burkard is passionate about creating fashion-inspired jewelry. He does this by contacting the quarry so his customers know where the stone came from and can be confident in its quality.
Burkard said, “I have spent the last two years mining and collecting stones so well that, starting next year, every piece of jewelry I make will be from the stones I have dug, cut and shining myself,” Burkard said.
Burkard and his girlfriend, Olivia Rigby, work in quarrying and producing jewelry to sell in local markets.
“We usually take out the rocks that call us and try those plans,” Rigby said. “The fact that everything is hand-made and that we mine what makes center stone different from the rest.”
Burkard explained that stones and crystals can heal and he hopes to create a unique and beautiful way that people can keep those healing things with them at all times.
Burkard started her jewelry business in July 2021. He explained that the inspiration to start the Stones Center came from the spiritual influences that surrounded him. While serving in the Philippines, Burkard was introduced to Buddhism.
“Buddhism opened my mind to a whole new dimension of spirituality,” Burkard said.
After returning home, Burkard took a vacation in Mexico where he was absorbed in strength work and meditation. Burkard credits his sister-in-law, Brea Burkard, for acting as his guide to the world of crystals.
“Zach was always curious about rocks and crystals, especially when he would come over to my house and see all the crystals I had installed,” Brea Burkard said. “He’s like a sponge when it comes to learning about what different crystals and stones mean and how they can help us.”
Brea Burkard explained that crystals and stones are gifts to humans from the earth that can support their energy and life. She explained that having a crystal in your life can connect you to the world and yourself.
“You know you’re going to get a higher grade stone when you buy a middle grade stone,” says Brea Burkard. “It’s like shopping at Walmart versus Restoration Hardware.”
Zach Burkard explained that Utah has become a great place to start a small business, especially because many people in Utah are entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“This is really something that I treat as a hobby and passion and as soon as it becomes a focus on money, I try to pull myself back and find joy in what I see in ‘look,” Zach Burkard said.