Madison Park loses gem to environmental efforts - Jewelry store closes; owners to pursue 'alternative building'

Teresa Toole and Joseph Hall have closed their customized-jewelry store, The Ringworks Studio, 4031 E. Madison St., after more than a decade in Madison Park. They are subleasing the shop to Mercer Island's Jeff and Ruth Perlman, who will open the Aree Perlman jewelry store in its place.

Toole and Hall closed their store to dedicate more time to their Sustainable Vashon efforts and jewelry design from their Vashon Island home. There, the couple can focus on educating others on how to "use resources better [so] as to not fight each other," Toole said.

She explained that the construction industry produces more greenhouse gases than cars. As such, she and Hall are helping others to learn how to build "smarter, environmental and efficient homes" that wouldn't add to the world's environmental problems.

In fact, Hall, who has a master's degree in urban planning, designed their home eight years ago. Now, the couple is looking into buying a commercial building in Winthrop, Wash., to "green up" and turn into a demonstration project.

"We're going back full circle," Toole said. "We want to do something useful for the world."

The couple originally opened Ringworks in Madison Valley, near Rover's restaurant. But after 4 1/2 years, they moved to its Madison Park location and got involved with the community.

The couple participated in the annual Shore Run to benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, formed a neighborhood cross-country running team that existed for four years and helped with auction to benefit adoptions.

McGilvra Elementary School parent and art instructor Jacqui Beck, who worked with Ringworks on a Sept. 11 peace-dove pin project to send to Africa, said, Toole and Hall are "people of action. They follow their dreams, and they accomplish them."

"They are part of the web of the community," she added. "Pull a piece of that out and another piece will need to put back in."

Toole's eyes start to fill with tears at the thought of leaving Madison Park. "It's been a genuine feeling of neighborliness here - that's rare to get," she said. "And we've made many friends we'll never forget."

Hall agreed: The customers "have come to mean something [more] to me. We've attracted so many interesting humans - not like [at] Tiffany's."

The Ringworks Studio continues to make customized jewelry for sale from its Vashon Island shop. For more information, call 463-7711 or go on-line to[[In-content Ad]]