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Our Story

The Hand and Paw Project Symbol

Dogs have been a part of Deborah Groenheyde’s life for as long as she can remember, and while she and her husband, Marten, were living in Hawaii they rescued two 7.5-week-old puppies, Moka and Java, from a shelter on Maui.

Moka and Java quickly found places in Deb’s heart – the unconditional love and trust that they shared was a testament to the meaningful relationships that we humans have with our animal companions.

Deb’s work often required her to travel, and when she was away from her dogs she missed them terribly.  This separation inspired her to create a symbol of the love and connection shared between people and their pets, something that she could carry with her at all times to remind her of her fur friends even when she couldn’t be with them.

She began with a vision at 3 am and roughly sketched the image of her hand and Moka’s paw, then worked with a company in Europe to turn that image into a sterling-plated pewter bead that has evolved into a full collection of bracelets and keychains for the pet lover.  The Hand and Paw Project had begun.

Wearable Works of Art

Today the Hand and Paw Project lineup of jewelry includes the original style Dog and Cat bracelets in both leather and vegan (rubber or cork) options, a flat leather bracelet design in both leather and vegan options, keychains, earrings, and pendants.  Most recently, in response to dozens of requests, Deb has created a new bead design featuring two human hand's.  

A portion of the proceeds from every item in the Hand and Paw lineup (whether sold directly to the customer, or to a retail location through our wholesale program) is donated to support shelters, rescues, and other animal charities in need.

The beautiful designs that Deb has created, depicting an animal’s paw held lovingly in a human hand, are a tangible reminder of the bonds we share with our pets.  Whether they are walking beside us, we are separated by distance, or they have crossed over the rainbow bridge, that bond can never be broken.