How Agritopia Visionary Joe Johnston Makes a Community


Our goal at Schmitt Jewelers is to be Unlike Any Other. This mantra spans all aspects of our company – from the pieces we make to the customer service and satisfaction that we provide. To celebrate leaders in our community, we’ve chosen to highlight people who are Unlike Any Other.

Joe Johnston, the founder of Agritopia, is a visionary driven to creating a flourishing community in Arizona.

“Ultimately, life is about people and relationships,” Joe says. 

Engrained in everything he does is a deep understanding that the human connection is key. This is apparent looking at his work. Agritopia is a community dedicated to preserving urban agriculture in a tight-knit Gilbert neighborhood. Barnone, his most recent endeavor, is a gathering space hosting a collective of local craftspeople that range from a plant-based eatery to a paper goods letterpress company.

In each endeavor, people are encouraged to interact and converse with one another.

“A broader number of people from all walks of life makes life richer, I think. Just the act of making and crafting is incredibly important to me, especially when it’s centered around people,” he says.

We strive to make these types of connections with our customers every day at Schmitt Jewelers.

Joe has always been a visual thinker. With a background in engineering, he identifies a problem and draws out a solution. He’s very hands on.

Our jewelry designers work in a similar fashion. The process begins with the customer’s vision. From there, we get into the nitty-gritty to sketch and then create a digital model before working with the physical piece.

Customization is our forte, but at the core of everything we do is a desire to spark a conversation and tell a story. As community activists, we are inspired and motivated by work like Joe’s and want to encourage and nurture relationships in all we do.

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