We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney & Howard Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney & Howard, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Hello, Thank you for asking, but we wonder How do we answer that, when we are surrounded by quotes, words and symbols that inspire us everyday? We are a husband and wife creative business team, Since we started dating we have had an affinity for quotes, words and symbols. We discovered the quote ” Do What You Love, Love What You Do” when we met and we agreed that we would live by that rule. Now Do What You Love, Love What you Do is one of our top selling Quotable Cuff bracelets. Another quote we say is “Grow through what you go through”, this quote heals, comforts and supports life’s journey, it too is found on one of our Quotable Cuff bracelets. We do not follow trends though what we design is stylish, we design based on the quotes, words and symbols we gravitate to, from that our collection grows. A symbol we relate to is the CAIRN, a rock stack that one often sees in the back country when out on the trail. The CAIRN represents balance, direction – when out in the wilderness, when one sees a CAIRN it means others have been here, you are going in the right direction, people have been here, keep hiking, keep going. A CAIRN can be found on our Balance Wax Seal charm. A Word we live by is Gratitude; we gift it, we cherish it and it is a daily intention and mission of ours to Give Back through Gratitude, 2021 will be our biggest give back year to date. We culminated 2020 by gifting 8000 Gratitude Blessing Ring charms to nurses, hospital staff and store owners, so they can say thanks to their customers for shopping with them, creating a ripple in the spiral of Gratitude. Thank you for taking the time to read about and get to know us. We are Grateful, Whitney and Howard
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In early 1999 I owned a gift shop in Calabasas, CA. I created an item I wanted to sell in my shop, that later we sold across the world as we approached the year 2000. I created a small pewter token the size of a quarter, on one side a raised angel and on the other side the year 2000.The token was called the Millennium Angel and it came with a card that wished for you safely in the coming of a new century. We sold many Millennium Angels and we learned that people really gravitated to gifts that were small and meaningful. Soon after I created the Blessing Ring, a small round double sided token that was for your pocket, key chain or necklace. I started with 3 styles and then another 3 and then Howard said ‘Whit I can make this big. We can sell these to shops all across the US just like we did with the Millennium Angel. ‘ Howard did just that, with his charisma and warm outgoing personality he enjoyed selling our collection at trade shows, just like me, shop owners loved him and buying our goods. We had to give up some luxuries to purse this full time so we moved into my parents home with our two little boys and in two years we had a prosperous business another child on the way and we bought our home in Calabasas where we are to this day. We do not follow trends, we learn from our life and our friends and families lives, we learn from what is going on in the world and we design from that lens, We design based on peoples personal journeys so we are set apart in that we are in the fashion business, we can be found in the most fabulous trendy shops but you also find us in the most sacred of shops as well. We want the world to know that we care and that is our starting point. We care about where our materials are sourced, we care how they are sourced, we care about the planet and we act responsibly for the earths needs both in work and outside on our free time. Both Howard and I have been recognized in our community with legacy awards, and this honor that has been bestowed upon us at different times, brings pride and joy in our hearts and we believe positive role models for our children. Whitney has received an honor from Chaparral Elementary School in Calabasas, one student each year will receive the Whitney Schwartz Award for Environmental Excellence and Howard is the recipient of the Carl Gibbs Award for protecting the planet and community given to him by the City of Calabasas. Both of us volunteer in our community to teach about protecting the planet.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Starting where we live, The Old Place on Mulholland Hwy near Malibu Lake, no matter where you live this is a top for coolest restaurants ever. We would go on a few hikes if they like the outdoors, either Bridge to Nowhere or Echo Mtn. If Farmers Markets are something they would enjoy I would take them to one of the worlds best Farmers Markets, the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Another favorite place to eat is Malibu Lobster, bring your own candles, table cloth, wine and enjoy time just off the PCH. A drive up to Santa Barbara is a must with a stop on the way back at Ventura County State Beach for sunset and for oysters at the Oyster Truck parked at the end of the parking lot (shhh its a secret spot). If they have time a drive to Joshua Tree for a sound bath at the Integratron. A sunset at The Sunset near Pint Dume and a hike up Point Dume for a view that will refresh and make them want to move closer to us. In addition visits with other friends filled with live music, home cooking and face to face connections!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would not be here if not for the support and collaboration of museums like the 911 Memorial and Museum, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial, because of these collaborations, deep meaning is the foundation of our designs. To be creative in our career is a privilege but to create jewelry and accessories that memorialize, pay tribute to and honor historic people, events and locations is work that connects us to humanity, it is work we are tremendously grateful for, this work, these pieces we create for these institutions means all over the world our pieces are connecting people to their past and present, When Howard and I first met, we also met Lisa Kodimer; the three of us met at the same time and separately and together we have been doing good and giving back. We have collaborated with Lisa’s foundation called Connecting a Caring Community. Connecting a Caring Community takes giving back to your community at a whole new level and participating in her events is enormously fulfilling. ( check her out on Facebook to see all she does ALL the time). Also if it were not for the thousands of independent businesses that line Main Street USA we would not be where we are at today. We are abundantly Grateful for all the independent ‘Small Shops’ across the US who purchase Whitney Howard Designs for their retail shops. We sell to the absolute neatest business and in each order we send our wholesalers gifts of Gratitude, we are Grateful for every single order, even the many orders that have only one Blessing Ring in it, Howard and I have enjoyed many books together, one we contribute a lot of spiritual growth is Sacred Powers by Davidji, his book, his meditations on Insight Timer bring us deep into our spiritual potential, Davidji is wise, a sacred being with a zen groovy, calm tenure that resonates with both of us. Our most favorite book series is by Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior all through to The Journey of Socrates. It is sort of cheesy how much Howard and I have in common, but for sure it is books too! Howard is a mentor and has been mentoring teens for years. Outside Education and mentor ship is Howard’s specialty and he attributes that to the many wise people who have guided him along his path. For me, I attest my entrepreneurial values to my dad who only told me ‘ How will you do it?’ /he gave me wings to believe I can do anything.