– Christy Lea Payne


Christy Lea Payne has become a friend over the last few years we’ve worked together, and was kind enough to invite us to her South Broadway space, to sit and visit just hours before she took off for Mexico City with her husband and business partner, Zach. It’s been a long while since we introduced you to this jewelry designer, and we wanted to explore what she’s been up to the past two years. 

What can you tell us about your permanent jewelry that you lovingly refer to as an “Adorned” experience?

Here’s how it works. We have a welding machine and take delicate and not-so delicate chain and permanently weld it together to grace your wrist, ankle and fingers. So there is no clasp to take it on or off, it is always with you! But the best part about these Adorned experiences, is that we see so many people come in to celebrate an occasion, or special person, so we get to take part in that moment. These pieces have become markers for what is meaningful to them and many people have begun collecting them. We have ten styles, white gold, 14 or 18K rose and yellow gold, oxidized sterling, feminine, delicate and unisex styles. You can add alphabet charms to remind you of loved ones, zodiac charms and diamonds or sapphires for a little sparkle all your own. We started off by appointment only, but now offer Adorned experiences three times a week, Fridays we offer walk-ins at our LoHi location and we accept appointments on Saturdays at both locations. This experience became so popular so quickly, but I decided to hone in on designs we love and what we feel like is the most durable option. We’re in a really good spot with the styles, and additions. These pieces are with you for as long as they are meant to be with you. Mine have been on for four years, but they even work for people like my husband Zach who extreme mountain bikes, as his bangles are still on. It’s all about timing and the universe. 

Both of your spaces are so thoughtfully curated, and you offer much more than just jewelry. Apart from what you design yourself, tell us how you select items for CLP.

Pieces speak to me. When I see something that I can’t necessarily have in my home, I bring it here, so I get to enjoy it until it finds it’s forever home. Like that Buddha over there, I found in Santa Fe, although it is from India, and I fell in love with it, and he will live here until someone claims him. It can be a friendship bracelet from Mexico for $5 or that Divino Wall sculpture for $2600. The Divino is from Brazil, and we now have one in each store. At the center of the piece is a dove made of mango wood and surrounded by a starburst of white flowers from Brazilian artist and designer, Roberta Schilling. 

Honestly, this space has become my second home. The only thing missing is a bed, fireplace and kitchen, I mean really, I could live here. Since this is an extension of our home I chose to surround myself with things that bring me joy. I feel like your home is your sanctuary, now more than ever. But the most important thing to remember is that it’s not about quantity it’s about quality. Again, fill your space with items that make you happy, whether they’re old, new, found, thrifted, there are no rules, it just needs to put a smile on your face. This couch we’re sitting on is here because I wanted people to come in and sit, get comfortable, spend time here. I always tell people that surrounding themselves with things they love doesn’t have to be expensive. It might be a new box of matches that you sit by your candle that brings you joy. 

You’ve been at this for quite a while now. Have you made strong connections with other local makers?

Denver is a growing creative community. I’ve actually found many makers through Instagram and have had the opportunity to connect to place their goods in the store. Mel, of Joybrush Signs is a great example, she spent a week here painting the large spanning message “peace is my religion” in Hindi on our front wall. When we moved from our smaller space across the street back in Feb. of 2020, I knew I wanted a larger space, but needed to define why. Bigger isn’t always better, but I knew  I wanted everyone on staff to be able to work together under one roof.  I also love that this space allows for pop-ups and gatherings and  I wanted to have events, yoga, tarot, aura readings, tin type photos, bringing like-minded people together. Soon, Amy of Rogala Designs is planning on bringing her work here for a pop-up. The ideas and connections are endless. South Broadway is changing, thriving and super diverse filled with a handful of my favorite women-owned businesses, Be Hippy, Rogala Designs, Canary in a Clothesmine, Joy Hill, Birdsall. At the end of the day, it’s about an experience, just like our adorned jewelry, it’s about a destination. 


What can you tell us about your new LoHi location, staff and plans for your future?

LoHi is vibrant and full of young people, lots of dogs, and scooters. Theres so much foot traffic, which offers so much opportunity to expose our brand to a whole new clientele. It’s a baby version of this space, and just a really good fit, it feels like a great extension. I don’t know that we will open any other locations at this point. Staffing is a real struggle right now, so for the time being, everything feels right and these two spaces will remain my focus. My staff is my family, we are always thinking of ways to stay engaged and happy. I always think about what would an ideal work environment be for me if I worked for someone else? I can bring my dog to work, I have a bit of flexibility with when I come in and leave, I get praise, I am financially compensated appropriately and occasionally my boss takes me to goat yoga. Ha! This is a pretty zen environment. I mean we have stressed moments, there are deadlines, staff shortages, but honestly at the end of the day I ensure the environment is flexible and beautiful. My mission is for creative growth, longevity and to keep designing! The possibility of expansion is always in the back of my mind, but right now I’m in a good place.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Aside from working at Roy Rogers for my first job, I was a competitive ice skater from the time I was 6 until 13 years old! 

Christy, thank you so much for having us in to your warm and inviting space. You’ve truly carved out an oasis in the city. Visit clpjewelry.com or follow her in Instagram @clpjewelry for more details. You can also find Christy at either her SoBo location at 1407 S. Broadway or in LoHi at 3214 Tejon. If she’s not in either of these places, she’s probably in her backyard playing cards with Zach, with her two dogs at her feet.