With economics and industrial engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford, and a decade working at Tesla, the electric-car company where her husband was a co-founder, Boryana Straubel had long set her sights on the technology revolutions spawned in and around Silicon Valley.
Batteries and solar energy were firmly on her radar. Fashion and jewelry were not. At least until several years ago, when she began learning about the devastating toll those industries take on the planet.
“If you told me five years ago that I would end up starting a jewelry business, I simply would not have believed you,” Ms. Straubel said from her home in Nevada this month.
“But I couldn’t believe how little I knew about the environmental damage caused by these two sectors — or how little attention many people in the West Coast investment community had been paying to it.”
Ms. Straubel began looking into potentially profitable solutions that could expand quickly and also resonate with consumers. After several years of research, in part via the couple’s Straubel Foundation, she unveiled one possible answer this spring:
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