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White Feather Rocks joins Payson/Santaquin chamber

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Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held White Feather Rocks in Santaquin on June 24 in honor of the business joining the Payson & Santaquin Area Chamber of Commerce. The business is located at 27 W. Main.

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Jim and Loretta Moshier, owners of White Feather Rocks, were at a crossroads trying to decide whether to start a business or just keep doing lapidary as a hobby. Loretta was at home in the upstairs window daydreaming and longing for inspiration from above. Out of nowhere, a white feather drifted down gently past the window and into the backyard. She ran down to retrieve it and showed it to Jim. Both agreed that it was the sign that they needed, and that is how their business got its name. Since then, they have discovered many mentions of white feathers bearing messages from angels or heaven. Even the Native American tribes have stories of the symbolism of white feather messages.

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Jim was going to college for his animal science degree when he realized he needed one more class in liberal arts. He chose lapidary since it seemed easy enough and had the right amount of credits. He has been an off-and-on rockhound ever since. He currently is an activity bus driver for Payson High School, and this allows him time off during the busy summer rockhounding season.

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Several years ago, Loretta was at a yard sale and found a box of “pretty” rocks for $5. She thought it would be fun to get a tumbler and see how they looked. She went to a rock shop and showed them her rocks, and they said that they should not be tumbled – they were Mexican Fire Opal, and if she took time to make them into jewelry, they could be worth thousands. That started the first of a series of classes on soldering, polishing and wire wrapping. Then Jim bought his first used Cab (polishing) machine, and they were hooked. Now they have three cabbing machines, two tumblers, three rock saws and a facet machine.

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The shift from a garage business came because of a major turning point. Loretta was in a car accident that totaled the car and caused a neck injury that prevented her from going back to the job she loved. She even had to give up doing the foster care that they had done for 21 years because of the physical restrictions. She could, however, set her own limits and polish rocks. That worked fine except for the cold weather that prevented being out in the garage. She bought some jewelry wholesale and started selling it from the house and at boutiques to go with the lapidary work in the winter. That led to obtaining some showcases from a closed jewelry department and fitting them in the garage.

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When looking for a business location, the requirements were that it be in Santaquin and on Main street. They looked at four other locations that all fell through before they found the current spot. It turned out to be the best of all and things fell right into place.

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Jim and Loretta have been married 30-plus years and have two daughters. The oldest is a sheriff’s deputy in California and the younger is a social worker in Salt Lake City. They have three grandchildren. They have fostered more than 50 children in their home over the years and still have close contact with several of them. They have lived in Santaquin for 11 years and worked with Neighborhood Watch and CERT. They have dogs, chickens, canaries and a turtle. Jim’s “retirement” job is driving the activity bus for Payson High School. He loves his teams and gives them coaching advice in the form of “win or walk home.” He owns a classic Harley, is a cancer survivor and a Vietnam veteran (Marine Corps). Loretta rescues animals on a regular basis and keeps busy with the shop. They like to travel to see family and visit the Navajo Nation to get new jewelry and art for the shop. They try to go rockhounding every other weekend.

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The shop does lapidary, silver work, Old Pawn Native American jewelry, Navajo jewelry and artwork, Western art, gifts, raw rock and jewelry classes and has a large fossil collection. They would love to have Scout groups and class field trip groups tour the shop, and they are planning a special children’s corner.

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Avatar
Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

More from Author

Serve Daily: August 2020

Enjoy the 99th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible...

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Click to View our Sponsors Websites

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