I bet you didn't know I was a jewelry designer way back when, did you? Well I was.

Styles by Steph Jewelry
One of my holiday creations...they were best sellers, believe it or not!!

I'm not saying I made it big time, or was on my way to becoming the next Vintage Gypsy or Debbie Segal, but I did pretty good for my 9 year old self! Maybe you have read my story, detailing how my grandmother gave my cousin and I $100 dollars and told us make it grow however we saw fit. Whoever ended up with the most money at the end of one year would receive a gift from our grandmother.

I'm pleased to say that I won. I took that $100 and turned it into $5000 and now cherish the pair of diamond earrings my grandmother gave me. How did I do it...by making jewelry. Yes, that's right. I traveled around Washington State (where I grew up) and sold my handcrafted jewelry with my mother at holiday craft bazaars.

Styles by Steph Jewelry
I was recently in California visiting family and my aunt presented me with this box of my jewelry. She had kept my designs after all these years, still treasuring that artist that I was. They definitely need some TLC and some repairs, but mostly I'm just in awe that my sweet aunt kept them (and wore them!) all this time. She truly is the best!

It was great fun to look back and relive the start that brought me to where I am today- Bella Vita. I had a wonderful time reminiscing of those three years (4th-6th grade) that I spent my time making and selling my jewelry. It even reminded me that there was a salon in Spokane, WA that sold my wares! Can you believe it? (Looking back, neither can I!)

Looking back, I'm so grateful to my mother for standing by me through all those years of adventure, self discovery and entrepreneurship. She put her neck out for me when other's thought we were crazy! (Ex. opening a business checking account for a 9 year old. Back then (I'm dating myself!), you just didn't do that.)

Here's to following your dreams!

- Stephanie