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Old Keys Find New Life as Jewelry

Old Keys Find New Life as Jewelry

Los Angeles company creates inspirational necklaces from recycled keys

Old KeysEver wondered what to do with old keys when you change your locks? One company, The Giving Keys, has found a creative way to repurpose old keys, transform lives, and contribute to the local community.

The founder of the company, Caitlin Crosby, got the idea for jewelry made from old keys in 2008, when she came across a vintage hotel room key that she just loved. Soon after she began looking for more interesting old keys, stamping them with inspirational words like “dream,” “love,” and “strength,” and giving them as gifts to friends. The keys were so popular that she realized there was an opportunity to sell them.

Crosby wanted her company to have a charitable dimension, but at first wasn’t sure how to accomplish this. The answer came one rainy night in Hollywood, when she met a homeless couple who made jewelry. Crosby set them up stamping keys, and soon the couple was off the streets and then on their way to college and full time jobs.

Today The Giving Keys continues to employ individuals transitioning out of homelessness via a partnership with Chrysalis, a workforce development agency. The staff stamps hundreds of keys per day. Necklaces, bracelets, and even rings made from the keys are carried at over 300 stores around the world.

The good done by The Giving Keys doesn’t end with the staff. Crosby’s vision for the jewelry includes a sort of pay it forward model, where individuals who purchase the keys keep them for a time and then give them away to someone they feel needs the inspirational message stamped on them.

The company purchases most of the keys on eBay, but a significant portion also come from employees who scour estate sales looking for old and interesting keys. If you live in one of the vintage homes in our local area, you probably know what kinds of keys these are—many older homes in our area have old-fashioned locks and keys that may be a bit lacking in security but are certainly big on charm.

As a friendly neighborhood locksmith that has been serving the local community for over 50 years, Curley’s Keyshop is familiar with these older locks and keys. We can provide locksmith services for your vintage locks, as well as help you upgrade to newer, more secure locks for interior and exterior doors. And after we rekey your locks, you might just stop by The Giving Key’s Lincoln Heights office and see if your old keys can find new life as jewelry.

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