Local designer Megan Kaltenbach launches her new jewelry line at Forest Room 5 Sunday

Local athlete-turned-model-turned-jewelry-designer Megan Kaltenbach brings a lot of love to the work she creates. For MKaltenbach, her handpicked line of necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the craftswoman makes sure each piece of agate, turquoise, onyx and amber is to her standards. "It's a long process, because I'm very picky; all of my materials are handpicked," says Kaltenbach. "It's an intense process, but I am really pleased with the product. That's what I want my customers to know -- they're getting the piece that is the real materials; it's not fake."

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While department stores can sell similar-looking work, she says, the materials are usually reproductions -- even though the pieces are sold at the same price or more than she charges for her original work. This Sunday at Forest Room 5, MKaltenbach will debut the company's newest line, with bracelets running $40 to $100, necklaces from $65 to $300 and earrings around $60.

The designer says the new line was inspired by some rich leather looks coming off the runway. "I'm really into bolo leather, which has a snake look to it -- like the vertebrae of a snake," says Kaltenbach. "I also am very drawn to the snakeskin look of bags and accessories. I kind of strayed away from chains I've used previously and focused more on the leather."

Kaltenbach says her new work has a Southwestern, almost Aztec feel, a style she brought to her look book, which was shot here in Colorado. Agate was the main focus of her earlier necklaces, while this time around, it is all about materials like coral, turquoise, onyx and trade beads from the 1900s -- making for pieces that are lighter, visually, and made to be layered.

The MKaltenbach jewelry launch goes down from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday, June 9 at Forest Room 5. From there, Kaltenbach will be taking custom orders for necklaces of any length and size, as well as other individualized pieces. For more information, visit the MKaltenbach website. Continue reading for a sneak peak at some of Kaltenbach's other pieces.

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