Marlon Obando Solano grew up exploring the tropical forests surrounding his home in rural San Lorenzo, Nicaragua. Alongside his 11 siblings, Marlon was raised on a small farm where he learned to use what was available to eat, work and play. While he was a student of archaeology he traveled throughout Central America and began experimenting with found natural materials to make jewelry and sculpture.
Amy and Marlon met in Nicaragua, fell in love, and began working together to sell jewelry to friends and travelers.
Married in 2004, we moved to Kentucky in 2005. We participated in our first juried art fair within days of the move, where we were awarded “Best in Show.” Marlon established a small home workshop and continued to create new designs to sell at art fairs throughout the region while also studying English, working as an archaeologist and playing music with his band, Appalatin. Amy worked with the immigrant and refugee community in Louisville and went to graduate school.
In 2007 we opened our Etsy shop, naturalezanica. Later that year Marlon started making more wedding bands. Soon Naturaleza Organic Jewelry found its niche in creating custom made wood wedding rings and selling them online to customers around the world.
In 2011 we had a son, moved to a new house with a more comfortable studio space. In 2012 Amy transitioned into a (mostly) full-time capacity managing the business. Little by little our business has grown and blossomed, and so has our family. In May 2016 we welcomed our daughter to our family.
We are excited to begin a new phase of implementing our vision by reforesting farmland in Nicaragua with native species of trees. We travel to our family farm in Nicaragua regularly to care for the nature sanctuary we are creating and to collaborate with family and community on sustainable farming and economic development projects.
When we met we dreamed of creating a life that would allow us to travel and spend time in Nicaragua and Kentucky with each of our families. We imagined being able to do a little of all of the things we love. We still work towards these goals every day, but we are so grateful for the customers who value our art and our principles, making it possible for us to pursue our dream. Our journey of building a sustainable family business built on integrity, social and environmental justice and meaningful relationships has only just begun. We appreciate your interest and your support.
Naturaleza Organic Jewelry is a GOLD Green America Certified Business, meeting the highest standards for social and environmental impact.