the hive

The Aspen Hive owner Cynthia Jankowski and her dog Holly are shown in their  store in downtown Aspen. The jewelry store at 429 E. Cooper Ave. opened June 1. 

Going into its third month of business, The Aspen Hive is already making its mark on the community.

The locally owned and operated jewelry store is in the same space where Aspen Goldsmith and other jewelry stores operated for more than 50 years. When Aspen Goldsmith closed earlier this year, the owner and landlord of the building agreed that another local operation should take its place. Cynthia Jankowski, previous buyer for the Aspen Goldsmith, was called.

Now she’s doing business in the space as The Aspen Hive.

“Having a local store, I try to keep the prices down and affordable for locals to shop in, but also there’s something to be said for the change in Aspen, and we’re trying to keep it as local and small as possible,” Jankowski said. “To have something that people feel like they can shop in town is, to me, very important, and it’s also been quite humbling to see who really supports you.”

Jankowski said she feels fortunate and grateful to have a strong support system of local women who encouraged her to build her business. That support system is where The Aspen Hive gets its name — in a beehive, the female bees do all the work and keep things running.

In the jewelry store, things run similarly. Almost all of the pieces for sale were made by U.S.-based, female goldsmiths and designers. 

“Reaching out and building somewhat of a brand with these women has been really cool,” Jankowski said. “It’s really important to showcase women goldsmiths and women designers in such a male-run industry.”

As a buyer, Jankowski said she enjoys being able to meet her designers and also watch them work over social media. This way, she can choose the pieces she wants to feature in her store. She added that she likes to feature a blend of vintage and modern collections, and let her passion for jewelry shine. 

The Hive officially opened on June 1, and Jankowski said feedback from visitors and locals has been humbling and heartwarming. She said that she wants the store to be a space where people can feel comfortable looking around and chatting, and not feel pressured to spend as much money as possible.

“People are liking the collection, and they’re liking the affordability,” she said. “I kind of wanted to create a store that I could shop in and my friends could feel comfortable shopping in, and that is truly what I tried to create here.”

Jankowski comes from a background where traditional jewelry was extremely important. Her mother, Krystyna Jankowski, also is playing a role in the business as her daughter’s partner. In that sense, and with the help of Jankowski’s four-legged canine (and “Employee of the Month”) Holly, The Aspen Hive is very much a family business. Both mom and daughter have years of experience in the jewelry business, and as for Holly — she loves her job as a greeter and mail-gatherer. 

Apart from that, Jankowski has not yet hired any additional employees, but going forward, she’s looking to grow in the offseason and upcoming winter. She hopes that locals and visitors will find affordable, quality holiday gifts there as the Christmas season approaches. The Aspen Hive will host a holiday bazaar on Sept. 15-18 where customers can peruse Christmas ornaments and other special items including Able leather products, which will benefit women impacted by the sex trade. 

“Each designer that I pick from, each woman that I buy from, I want to know their story because I think it is truly about spreading the story,” Jankowski said. “I’m hoping to branch out and bring in more gift items for people that they would like to give if jewelry isn’t something that they would like, but mostly we’re sticking with jewelry.” 

In the meantime, the store also offers repair services. In fact, the store’s lone male partner, Basalt-based Hayden Mayer of HM Jewelry, supports the queen bees by doing all of the repair, custom and redesign work. For more information about repairs or The Aspen Hive in general, visit

The Aspen Hive is located at 429 E. Cooper Ave. and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A link to join the store’s mailing list can be found on the website.