National Forest Foundation

Small Business Spotlight: Shade Metals

NFF Corporate Partners


We caught up with one of our small business partners, Shade Metals, to learn more about their art and their story. Sara and Cesar shared their perspective on why giving back to our forests is invaluable. Through the support and efforts of our small business partners like Shade Metals, we have planted over 220,000 trees in our National Forests, making a huge impact on the reforestation need.

Tell us a little bit about your business.

"We are a silversmithing duo that creates botanical jewelry to emulate specific species of trees and plants. We cast and finish the pieces in our home studio, and then exhibit them at art festivals and farmer’s markets to reach our audience."

Why is planting trees important to Shade Metals, and why did you choose to plant with the National Forest Foundation?

"Researching each species that we work on is an important aspect of our business. We spend a lot of time talking about trees and plants with the public at the markets. It seems only natural to back up the educational aspect of our business with the direct action kind of work it takes to keep our forests healthy."

Why is having an environmental commitment important to you as a small business?

"Like Picasso said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” While we often use recycled silver and gold, it was still mined at some point. We use plaster and electricity, we burn wax and 3D print resin, we drive to art shows etc. So it is important to us to balance the resources we use for our art with a positive force, and trees make a significant and long-lasting impact on the environmental quality of our world."

Shade Metals

How do you talk about the partnership and what has been the response of your peers and customers?

"At the end of the year we recap in a newsletter how many trees we contributed to our National Forests. It is important to us that we give, but we don’t feel comfortable using our environmental commitment as a selling point for our jewelry. We believe that every business should be doing something to offset their impact."

Do you have any favorite National Forests or forest memories?

"In February we spent a couple weeks hiking in El Yunque, our National Forest in Puerto Rico. Several trails were still closed from the damage done by Hurricane Maria in 2017, but the trails that were open served as proof of the amazing regenerative power of our forests. The diversity on the island was impressive, and it was uplifting to see many of the park’s employees on the trails working hard to clear and rebuild the trails."

Learn more about Shade Metals here.

Interested in making a difference in our National Forests through a small business partnership planting trees?

Learn more here, or reach out to Britt Holewinski, NFF Tree Planting Associate, at or 406.830.3364.

Shade Metals,

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