About Compass Rose Design

Founder, Creek Van Houten
Compass Rose Design revives historic heirlooms into wearable art. Handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area. Everything comes from somewhere. Not only do the genuine antiques in my designs have their individual stories, the shape and structure of each item connects with a historical moment and has it’s own raison d'etre – reason and purpose for existence. Whether we’re talking about construction of a button of or the contours of a pocket watch – each item holds a thousand stories and embodies centuries of ideas. The Compass Rose Design collection captures the story and aesthetic of Victorian era - a fascinating moment at the birth of a modern world combining the forces of revolution, industrialization, innovation and an idealized past. The collection resonates with steampunk afficionados just as much as with those who simply appreciate beauty, quality and a story.

Johnny & Creek Van Houten
Compass Rose Design Jewelry is a tiny, woman-owned wife and husband team operation based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Creek Van Houten, founder of Compass Rose Design Jewelry, has been making stained glass and jewelry for the last ten years with vintage and found treasures. My tendency both for collecting as well as re-assembling has been a lifelong project. I took apart my first stereo at age 7 and disassembled my first broken pocket watch at 9. In both cases, my goal was to repair the items, but upon realizing the parts were so beautiful, I began constructing art. I feel part of a movement of makers and entrepreneurs and small business owners - we love it!

Creek at work...
After almost a decade of work in non-profits and then some marketing, I've taken the plunge to become a full time crafter maker metal alchemist. After returning to California from Amsterdam with literally boxes of antique trinkets, I set up shop in my San Francisco apartment to embark on the lifelong dream of working for myself.

The Compass Rose collection of handcrafted Steampunk and Victorian inspired jewelry is made with authentic antiques and storied heirloom treasures. I've been collecting at flea markets, estate sales and life's unlikely corners - making wearable creations for the last fifteen years with vintage and antique objects. Everything in our shop is handmade in our home studio, just north of San Francisco, California, and reflects a bit of treasure renewed into something unique and beautiful.

Johnny at work..
 My husband, Johnny, joined the company, helping with photography and soldering in 2011 to help keep up. His love of railroad history and trains has been a delightful addition to my interest in mechanical gadgets and Victorian everything.

Thank you for visiting!

-Creek & Johnny

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