Friday, September 24, 2010

Member Interview

Hi there, Stevie of dbsj!  Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Stephanie Jones and I presently live in North Las Vegas. I live with my partner and our daughter, Mikaela, who will be 15 in October. We moved here from Ft. Lauderdale last year where we had lived for almost 20 years. I am originally from So. California.

I was hired by a major airline 33 years ago as a flight attendant, and started my career off by being based in New York City, and then moved to back to California, at the beaches in Los Angeles. I eventually moved to Hawaii when we opened up a base there and I flew to Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. I lived in Waikiki for three years. The airline closed the Hawaii base in the early 90’s and since the best destinations were flown out of Miami, I moved there to fly Europe, South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands one month before Hurricane Andrew. 
With my daughter in Hawaii
Twelve years ago, I was injured in a turbulence incident, and I was off for 3 years. My daughter was 2 at the time, and my partner and I were separated. It was a very dark time for me. When I finally went back to work, I was so broke, and my main concern was generating more money than I was getting paid. Since I was still dealing with back pain, my main objective was to do something to keep me off of the plane. I started making wreaths and was selling them.

(I have always been creative throughout my life, and at one point I was making extra change by using my calligraphy for wedding invitations. I have also painted signs for businesses, and I even painted names on boats, and doctors' offices. One doctor's office in particular was a glass door and I had to paint the name on backwards since that was the smooth side - lol ).

A little over 9 years ago when I went back to work, a friend of mine I flew with brought out her handmade jewelry on the airplane to sell to the other flight attendants, and I remember saying to myself, I make jewelry and I can do that.

I made the shift right then from wreaths to jewelry, and this was the beginning of designs by Stevie j. I started off by making key holders (that was all I could afford at that time). I saved the money I was making and then I would upgrade my inventory. Then someone would ask me if I would make her something special. I did and that was the beginning of my custom orders. I was soon making earrings, bracelets, eye glass holders, ID holders, and necklaces. Custom orders really sparked my creative juices. My clients inspire me and it is amazing how I tap into what they say, and I see exactly what they want, and then I come up with a piece that absolutely works for them. I literally dream jewelry!

I started taking my jewelry to conventions, holiday shows and home shows, and eventually started working very close with my favorite charities. Since one of my most favorite charities is Jessica June Children Cancer Foundation, (please see the HOPE MEDAL to read the full story) I have been devoting my time and anything else I can to help this wonderful organization.

Anyway, my business started growing leaps and bounds. I can’t tell you how many times my returning clients told me people would stop them on the street to ask them about their jewelry that I made them. They told me they really loved wearing it because of the energy they felt.

Then one year I went to the Tucson Gem Show to purchase the best stones I could afford, and I about the same time I also found a jeweler in Sao Paulo, Brazil whom I worked closely with to create sterling silver pendants. 

Last year Maurice, my partner, asked me to work with him in a sub shop he was interested in taking over, so I agreed, put my jewelry business on the back burner (no pun intented) and we moved to Vegas. We worked very hard for about 9 months and then had to close it because the hard fact set in that Vegas’ economy was more depressed that we first realized...
Photo of us in the store
How did you learn about Etsy Project Embrace?
I remember coming across one of the TEAMEPE Treasuries that told the story about Laura, and BINGO! It was a total fit! I contacted Kristin, and the rest is history. I wanted to donate right away to ACS, and got all confused when trying to enter my donation on TEAMEPE's page and ended up making my own page, which now I just make donations with every sale I make.

I am loving being a part of TEAMEPE! I am meeting new artists and I love the support that each of you brings to the group. I felt at home instantly. It has been hard to go back to work to fly full time, (my base is in LAX) and selling my jewelry, and thank God for ETSY!
Selling at work
What is your favorite leisure time activity?
When I do have time off which is very limited, since I am full time everything ~ mother, flight attendant, jeweler, housekeeper, etc. ~ I travel. There are still so many places I have not been yet, and more that I would love to go back to. It is a good thing I have the flight benefits!! The benefits have been so instrumental in taking us to places and meeting people that I don't think I would have had the opportunity to do if I didn't have them.
My daughter with Michael Phelps
VP Gore and myself
Of your own creations, what is your favorite?
I love everything that I make, obviously, and it would be hard to pick my favorite but today, this is my favorite:
Rock of Ages
It is smooth smokey topaz nuggets, clear crystals, and whiskey quartz. Quite a substantial necklace.

What is your favorite possession?
My favorite personal possession is my photo airline ID, because I don’t have to wait in the airport lines!! It is such a hassle to travel these days, and that ID opens doors all over the place!!

Do you have a blog? Yes:

Where would you like to be, and what would you like to be doing, ten years from now? 
My goal and dream is to be able to have a large company and design jewelry full time. I want to also live in the Colorado mountains, Hawaii, and California.

I am always into learning new things. With my daughter, I am getting a second chance at High School! We are brushing up on our Spanish at the present time. I help her with her homework and she teaches me so much about music and life in general. I am really proud of her and I feel so blessed to be her mother!

I want to be able to send Mikaela to the college of her choice.

Also anything creative always has my attention.

Anything you'd like to add?
I have four cats. ~ But I do not allow them in my studio, so the jewelry is fur free.
Angel, (with remote control) – the baby at 5 years old
Patches (calico) – 8 years old
Missy Black cat – 11 years old
BooBoo the Mama Siamese Cat – 13 years old
Yesterday, I was in a car accident and we are fine, thank God, a bit sore and will be off work a little while, since we all will be going to physical therapy...

Thank you for taking the opportunity to read this snippet about me and the biz. I feel so honored to be a part of this group, and thank you Mollie for asking me to jump out of my shell!!

Hugs to all.


  1. Stevie- You have a great story! Your work is beautiful! I'm so glad you weren't hurt in the accident!

  2. What a great interview. I loved reading about your life story. so glad no one was seriously hurt in the accident.

  3. you know- i'm just not surprised by what i read - i picked up on your "funness" and "coolness" just from a few thread enteries! I just knew i'd like you :D AWESOME - thanks for a great interview mollie ann! ............. and take lots of advil for soreness xxoo laura

  4. Wonderful to read more about you, Stevie first hand..and see these great pix! Thanks, Mollie for another cool interview..and Stevie, feel well and take Laura's Dvice. She knows a bit about soreness!!xoxo

  5. Wow, Stevie! Glad you are OK.
    Love your interview! It would be great to travel like that. I dream of getting off this continent at least once in my life. :o) Thanks for opening the doors to your world and letting us take a peek.

  6. What a lovely woman and so full of great spirit. Thanks Mollie for that wonderful interview:-)

  7. Wonderful interview! Cute cats too. I'm glad you're not hurt. Take care.


  8. So glad that you are ok! So many wonderful ideas and things you have done and experienced! It is so much fun to get to know everyone and I appreciate you allowing us to take a peek into your world!

  9. Thank so much all. It was a pretty scary thought to open up like this since I am so new to this group. With Mollie's gentle encouragement it ended up being not so bad.

    And trust me Laura, my daughter and I are definitely taking advantage of your advise...

    ((((((( This group ROCKS and I am so grateful that I came across this wonderful TEAM of artists )))))

  10. Wow... what a life story that has taken you to many places and to many people! Glad to learn more about you, Stevie. Thanks for sharing, and thanks, Mollie, for your hard work on the blog!

  11. Yours is a beautiful story, and I'm so glad you found Etsy -- it's a wonderful community with lots of love and support. Best wishes with your Etsy shop! I'm glad you found me so I could find you! :)