Papio Creek Gems
Shop for All of Your Jewelry Needs
By Angella A. Arndt
Whether you’re looking for custom jewelry, jewelry repair,or jewelry supplies, Papio Creek Gems can handle all of your jewelry needs. There are unique jewelry pieces available to purchase, craftsmen to design and make jewelry, and loads of do-it-yourself supplies. Although the business is named Papio Creek Gems, owner Kaffi MacNabb points out that the storefront displays the name Papio Jewelry & Beads. Her grandfather taught her that it was important for a store sign “to tell people what you do.”
Kaffi’s adventure began unexpectedly. Many years ago, a lot of her friends were interested in beading. Kaffi had a retail background, and she thought her friends were paying too much for their supplies. She knew she could offer beads and jewelry-making supplies at more affordable prices. Kaffi and her husband, James, started their business 17 years ago with an appointment-only showroom and visits to trade shows. The business expanded, and they opened a retail shop. They have been in their current location for almost four years. “People may not realize that we do custom jewelry pieces, silversmithing, goldsmithing, gemstone cutting and polishing, and jewelry repair,” Kaffi shares.
Papio Creek Gems is a family-owned and operated business. Kaffi does all of the purchasing and pricing, she designs and makes jewelry, and she performs jewelry repairs. James does the gemstone cutting. “Some customers want very specific things,” Kaffi notes. “James can take a rough gem and cut it to customer specifications.” Martin, one of their sons, does all of the silversmithing and goldsmithing, repairs jewelry, and makes custom jewelry. Even their 11-year-old son, Caleb, has his own bench and is learning the trade from his dad. “We do all the work in-house. This gives us a better grasp of what customers want and need. It’s easier for us to customize pieces because we’re talking directly to our customers. If we can’t do the job, we don’t take the job—that’s very important to us,” Kaffi states.
Papio Creek Gems offers a wide variety of finished jewelry for sale at different price points to meet everyone’s budget and style. You’ll find necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings made with quality materials. There are pieces containing gemstones, pearls, crystals, or a mixture of materials. Their styles range from subtle to bold, and they’re all thoughtfully designed. “It’s important to figure out what customers want,” Kaffi says. “We don’t just keep up with trends; we create jewelry that will be elegant and stand the test of time.”
“One of the rewards of offering custom-made jewelry and jewelry repair is being able to do something meaningful for someone,” Martin shares. “It’s gratifying to repair someone’s favorite piece of jewelry or to take a piece apart to make multiple pieces of jewelry for different family members.” For custom-made pieces, customers may select each component of their jewelry, including things like gemstones, beads, clasps, bails (used to attach pendants or stones), jump rings, earring posts and wires, and chains. The artisans at Papio Creek Gems offer unique jewelry designs to suit each customer’s needs.
Von Bachle, a longtime customer, shares his thoughts. “They are very genuine, nice people,” he says. “They are artisans and craftsmen who can do things that no one else can do. My wife and I bought yellow topaz while traveling, and they’ve made several custom pieces of jewelry.”
If you like to make your own jewelry, you’re sure to find what you need at Papio Creek Gems. The shop carries gemstone beads, glass beads, crystals, and pearls. You’ll also find quality jewelry-making components that are solid gold, gold-filled, sterling silver, copper, pewter, and silver-plated. Kaffi says she’s had customers come into the store because they ordered something from an online retailer but didn’t receive what they expected. These customers are generally pleased with her selection and surprised to find that her prices are often more competitive than what they found online.
For aspiring jewelers, Papio Creek Gems offers one-on-one classes by appointment. Classes range from basic jewelry-making to goldsmithing and silversmithing. They also offer “Ladies Night” classes for small groups to experience jewelry-making in a casual, fun environment. Call the store for more information about classes.
Kaffi’s business philosophy is simple. “I treat all customers the way I want to be treated when I go into someone else’s store,” she asserts. “I love it when customers are thrilled, whether it’s with a repair, a custom piece, or a ready-made piece. When people visit our store, they’ll get the best service they could possibly imagine.”
Papio Creek Gems is located at 3412 South 144th Street, in Omaha. The store is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please call 402-935-4367. You can find them online at papiocreekgems.jewelershowcase.com or on Facebook at papiocreekgems&gifts.
Owner Kaffi MacNabb
with husband, James, and their children, Martin (back), Colin (right), and Caleb (left)