Customer Stories

Meet the jeweler next door in BackCountry.

by Shea Homes Colorado on September 9, 2015


For most of us, garages are for cars, bikes, and all kinds of dusty, forgotten treasures. But for some, they are the headquarters of a dream. Think Apple, Amazon, Disney, and Google, all of which began in a humble garage. And right now, something similar is happening at BackCountry with resident Carrie Schafer’s jewelry business, Original Hardware.

Ok, maybe we’ll wait and see about the world domination part, but Carrie’s wholesale business has happily expanded to the point that she will be moving into a retail shop in downtown Littleton on September 1. But faithful readers don’t have to wait for opening day. Shop her website now and get a 20% discount on your entire purchase using the promo code Backcountry at checkout!

And what can you purchase on the Original Hardware website? Handcrafted jewelry with a rustic aesthetic, ideal for layering with other pieces. You’ll find earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings in silver and mixed metal, with diamonds and other stones. Carrie and her team of two other designers use handcrafted components, ethically-sourced materials and 100% recycled sterling silver in an effort to “tread lightly on the planet.” So far, the jewelry has been sold in 100 high-end boutiques and the prestigious Sundance catalog.

High-end handcrafted jewelry made in BackCountry

BackCountry open space provides excellent photo ops for product shots like this, taken just outside the Sundial House.

“Everything is made in my BackCountry studio,” says Carrie. “Once the Littleton space is ready and we’ve moved in, I plan to keep the garage studio for a bit. I like to get up early in the morning as the sun rises and work on new pieces in there.” (Her garage studio does have some creature comforts, like a chandelier.)

Carrie’s career shift was dramatic. “I was working as a VP for a global software company when a coworker came into the office with a bracelet she’d made,” says Carrie. “I’ve always been fascinated with rocks and metal, and in some way my life has had some creative energy to it. Once I bought a few stones and jewelry supplies, I was hooked.” Beyond some basic metalsmithing courses, Carrie is entirely self-taught. She says that “everything else has been learned the hard way and I have the scars and Band-Aids to prove it!”

Carrie started the company in 2003 and she and son Evan, 9, have lived in BackCountry since 2008. “I’ve lived in Highlands Ranch for 20 years and I knew when BackCountry was starting to develop that it was something special,” she says. “And it really is. There’s nothing like it in Highlands Ranch.”

Founder Carrie Schafer and family at BackCountry

Also shot in BackCountry. Carrie and Evan, with significant other Chris McGinnis and daughters Grace and Abby.

Carrie loves the trails, where she mountain bikes on her lunch hour, but she says that more than anything it’s the people that make it special. “I’ve made so many great friends here,” says Carrie. “There are many creative entrepreneurs that live in BackCountry, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with. What I love about this community is the genuine support I’ve received.”

Continue that support, BackCountry residents and friends, with a visit to the website, or in September when the Original Hardware shop opens at 2336 W. Main Street in historic downtown Littleton.

For more information on our Shea Homes Collections in BackCountry and what we’re up to at the Colorado division, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, and get inspired with us on Pinterest.


Post image for Read a book. Make a friend at BackCountry.

Read a book. Make a friend at BackCountry.

by Shea Homes Colorado on June 30, 2015


Once a month, between 10 and 14 women gather at the Sundial House at BackCountry, a master-planned community by Shea Homes —ostensibly to talk about the book they’ve read, but more importantly, to deepen their sense of community.

Danni Holland, the founder of the BackCountry Book Club, wants to make clear that the doors are wide open to everyone in the community.

“We usually have one or two newcomers each meeting,” says Danni. “And we’d love to keep growing.” No intellectual posturing required—this is a friendly group open to all BackCountry residents, where the time splits naturally between book chat and pure socializing. Books usually don’t get overly lofty, and include both fiction and nonfiction, since one of the goals of the group was to help lure each other out of their reading comfort zones. They vote on book selections every couple of months.

The group’s diversity makes it all the more interesting, says Danni. “Our members range in age from mid-30s to 80s. The difference in life experience and perspectives adds so much to our discussions.” She says the book club has also very much facilitated friendships. In fact, she met her closest BackCountry friend at the first book club, not realizing that she actually lived just four doors down from her. Others have experienced the same, forging friendships that include walking together and other get-togethers. Not too surprising, given that “there’s a lot of neighborliness at BackCounty in general,” says Danni. “We have lots of outgoing, friendly neighbors around us,” she says. “I think people move here because they want to live in a neighborly community. The kind where there aren’t fences and there’s a good level of trust.”

As Danni says, “We come together around a book, but we stay together for the friendships.”

For more information on Shea Homes and our home collections in BackCountry and what we’re up to at the Colorado division, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, and get inspired with us on Pinterest.


Make Your House a Home at Colina

by Shea Homes Northern California on June 30, 2015


If you haven’t visited the stunning new Colina model homes at Waterstone, then you don’t know what you’re missing. I mean, who doesn’t want a beautiful home with a gorgeous view!? Located in Vallejo, and just minutes from downtown Benicia, the new Colina neighborhood by Shea Homes sits atop a beautiful hillside and overlooks the Carquinez Strait, leading into San Pablo Bay. Starting from the $500s, and ranging in size from 2,319 to 3,072 square feet, these Colina homes offer a great value for the Bay Area.

And new Colina homeowners agree. Erwin and Amanda Cruz couldn’t be happier, these ecstatic first-time homeowners recently received the keys to their new home, and they gave us some feedback about the new community and buying with Shea: “As first-time home-buyers, we had a lot of questions. The Shea team made it easy, and communication throughout the process was always great. There wasn’t ever a time when our questions weren’t answered. We are very happy with our home.” Amanda said.

Erwin chimed in, “Not just the sales team, but the construction and mortgage team, too. I definitely stopped by once a week to check on the progress of the house.”

Amanda added, “You can definitely tell that they share in our excitement.”

Jennifer Chlebicki, Shea Sales Team Member, says,Colina Homeowners “My favorite part of the entire process is handing our homeowners the keys to their beautiful new home. We work with our home-buyers for months prior to this day, and we get to know and care about them and their families. So to be there to celebrate with them, on that last day where everything has come together, and hand them the keys is a really special moment. I always feel honored to be included in sharing that moment with them.”

Thinking about dropping by? View the model home photo tour below, then call (707) 558-0543 to schedule your visit and see the difference a Colina home could make to you.

Remodeling and Home Design


Post image for Mom, I’m bored. (Said no BackCountry kid ever.)

Mom, I’m bored. (Said no BackCountry kid ever.)

by Shea Homes Colorado on June 22, 2015


Okay so that’s wishful thinking, but it’s no exaggeration that BackCountry is an incredible place to be a kid. You see it in the way children ride their bikes freely and play in happy little packs, roaming from yard to yard and house to house. (Gated communities where people know each other promote that kind of easygoing vibe.) And naturally, the Sundial pool and abundant parks and open spaces are huge kid magnets in the summer. But BackCountry’s child-friendly planned events also play a critical role in keeping the young’uns busy, physically active, and connected with each other year-round.

Science Kids

BackCountry boasts an exceptionally active HOA, guided by full-time Lifestyle Director Britany Chambers and a committee of residents. Together, they plan special events that target the interests of all kinds of residents, including the young ones. Case in point, this kids-only science event featuring exotic animals and cool experiments that use everyday items.


Easter Egg Hunt

Or annual Easter Egg hunts with a special appearance by a very popular, cotton-tailed guest.




Superhero PartyOr an afternoon of star-struck hobnobbing with Rapunzel and Spiderman at a Superhero and Princess Party.

So what’s on tap for kids this summer? Below, you can read about a couple of annual favorites followed by a complete summer calendar of activities planned with BackCountry’s youngest residents in mind. Get ready. It’s going to be a fun-filled summer for children at BackCountry. [read more…]


The Lin Family welcomes a new baby into their new Marbella Vineyards home

June 5, 2015

Why did you move into a Shea Home and what appealed to you about this home? We had been searching for a new builder in Gilbert for a while. Our biggest criteria within our budget were at least 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, around 3000 square feet, an open floor plan, decent lot size for […]

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Two months, eleven parties at BackCountry!

June 4, 2015
Thumbnail image for Two months, eleven parties at BackCountry!

  Ten days after Larry and Val Hay moved into their new BackCountry home, while most of us would be struggling to unpack, they hosted their first party. And within two months—from November 1 to January 1—they had hosted eleven parties. What’s that all about? While you’d never accuse these two of being introverts, apparently […]

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Mini Hero: Toni Overman, resident of Marbella Vineyards, chairs this year’s Christmas Idea House

May 22, 2015

Why did you move into a Shea Home and what appealed to you about this home? We started our search for a home two years before we found the Shea Home we purchased.  We have two children that will be leaving home soon, so we were looking for a home that had a spectacular master […]

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BackCountry. Seven years. No itch.

March 24, 2015

  It’s been seven years since Roxie Mountain-Weed and Rick Weed moved into what was then a brand new community named BackCountry. And back then, in the days before the Sundial House, Discovery Center, or even a single model home, when all there was to see was a trailer and some drawings, this was a […]

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Meet me at the barn, AKA the amazing Reunion Rec Center

March 6, 2015
Thumbnail image for Meet me at the barn, AKA the amazing Reunion Rec Center

  Dubbed “Big Red,” Reunion’s rural-themed, award-winning, 21,000-square-foot rec center is more than a $5.28 million investment in the community. It’s an investment in a sense of community. On any given day at the rec center, you’ll see countless children’s sports programs in progress: basketball, soccer, and flag football, just to name a few. “We […]

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It all started with a trip to the grocery store.

February 27, 2015
Thumbnail image for It all started with a trip to the grocery store.

  If it weren’t for the over-the-top King Soopers in Commerce City, Dawn and Johnathon Wilson might not have moved to Reunion last December. “We were living in Green Valley Ranch, but driving three miles over to get groceries,” says Dawn. “The Commerce City King Soopers has a great sushi bar and cheese bar. They […]

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