We had the good fortune of connecting with June Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi June, how do you think about risk?
A friend of mine recently told me she admired the fact that I try lots of different things. She shared that, sometimes the fear of failure holds her back, and as a result she never attempts the thing because she’s worked out in her mind that it will probably won’t be successful. When I heard this, I just thought, “Yeah, but what if it does work out?” And, who cares is it doesn’t? At least you tried. I never realized me trying new things could be considered a strength, because it’s just part of who I am. Over 20 years ago when I decided I was going to start my first company; I knew the first step had to be actually learning how to make jewelry. Within weeks of deciding my new life path, I found a job at a jewelry company and began to learn all kinds of things including how to actually make the stuff. I worked there about 6 months when I decided I had learned what needed and it was time now time to start my business. I remember telling my husband, and his parents about my plans, when both he and his mother told me it would be better to stay at the job and do everything very small and slowly. Their advice wasn’t bad, and it may have been the best advice for 99% of people, but I knew it wasn’t right for me. So, I handed in my notice and started what ended up being a pretty successful adventure.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I enjoy creating, I love making beautiful things. Whether, I’m making whimsical jewelry, gemstone centered gifts, hand crafted items like bath crystals, or even botanical creations, I have a calling to create. With my first business June Bijou, I was really just figuring out who I was. I just wanted to please everyone, and tried to create lots of styles to reach a wide range of buyers. The company grew from a girl who taught herself how to make jewelry, to a business that produced products for some really big stores/brands. Companies would select designs from me, and I would oversee the mass production of hundreds if not thousands of pieces and ship all over the world. Although, It was such a great experience for me, it left me feeling like a making machine. Every 3-4 months creating a new line, selling, producing, and repeating. I made pretty things for sure, but it all felt very cyclical and predictable. I worked extremely hard for about 10 years, and even though I was happy and proud of myself, I completely burned myself out. What started out as a maternity break, ended up being about 9 years long and two kids later, the 2008/9 recession didn’t make me want to run back to work either so I didn’t rush. After nearly a decade, I realized I missed working, and creating things, but I also learned that I didn’t miss the idea of churning out stuff, just for the sake of sales cycles. I wanted to create special, meaningful objects that could stand the test of time and have an emotional component that connected with people. When I started Soul Stonz, I wanted to share positive energy by creating beautiful objects that centered around crystals and gemstones. I believe crystals are treasures from our earth, holding time, history and energy within them. Gemstones are attributed with certain energies and even healing frequencies; I want to incorporate that into everything I make.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love supporting local so we’d probably head down to the Dallas Farmers Market if it’s a weekend, and shop the local food & gift vendors, or maybe check out one of the Boho markets that pop-up in different cities in the area. I live in the Plano area and love The Shops of Legacy, where we can grab a bite to eat at Legacy Hall which has something for everyone, and shop all the great stores. And, I’d have to show her the Star in Frisco too.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, my husband, Steve supports our family, which allows me to pursue my creative passions. My mom, Angeline has helped me in all my businesses, she helped me set up some of my very first shows and always lent a hand with anything I needed, whether it was with children or even finances. I have several dear friends who have been so kind and supportive, even working for free at times, but my best friend, Diane who I sometimes refer to as my grumpy sister has been a constant source of honest feedback, smart advice, and a listening ear. I’m a self-improvement junkie, I am always listening to books and podcasts. When I started Soul Stonz, I read almost all the books written by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, and feel his messages were foundational. I have continued to be attracted to authors who encourage self reflection and self improvement, I’ve enjoyed Jen Sincero, Denise Duffield-Thomas, Mel Robbins, and most recently a book by Susie Moore.
“Kelli Hiser/Images By Kelli” or just “Kelli Hiser