Meet Julie and be sure to grab your Kleenex. When we met Julie, we were immediately drawn to her. Like each of our customers, she is ROSE. A woman on the GO full of drive with the balance of compassion and generosity. Through all her early life lessons there is an essence of infectious positivity which Julie brings to you. Read on and be ready to cry, smile and learn.
SRG: We think you have such a cool story! Tell us about your path and what makes you the woman you are today.
JW: Jewelry holds a rich history in my life. My family has been in the jewelry business for three generations. Seeing my dad build his business, while also being a very talented jewelry designer, taught me a lot about business, jewelry, and life. That has given me a deep appreciation for small-business owners and creators of every kind. Everything I've done, and everything I currently do, involves jewelry, people, and their stories.
I moved to Seattle when I was 24 to pursue my degree in Fashion Marketing. I love Seattle and I learned so much about myself and the Fashion Business. It was a time in my life where I built a foundation of confidence in my abilities.
While I was still living in Seattle, my mother's health began to decline due to Parkinson's and Dementia. I made a decision to do everything I could to make the last few years of her life as happy as I could, so I moved home to Kansas. The next four years of my life, and hers, were very confusing and hard. I made a lot of difficult decisions on my Mother's behalf at a very young age. She was extremely funny, stylish, intelligent, and creative. Watching her decline was heart wrenching, and the most helpless I've ever felt. I had to keep smiling for her, I worked so hard to keep smiling for her, many many times moments after I left her, I would burst into tears. She is a very important part of my story. She raised me to be strong and positive and she helped me just as much as I helped her.
My mom passed away on Valentine's Day in 2015. After that, I took about a year and a half of time to regroup, mourn, and think about what was next for my life.
I created opportunities in the jewelry business for myself in Kansas, but the sinking feeling that I needed to be in New York City was unwavering.
I had something more to give. I needed to find out was it was. It was my time to do what my mom would have wanted me to do. So I made a really scary decision to not worry about what anyone thought, I followed my gut feeling, sold everything I owned, and I got on a plane to NYC. I did not have a job lined up. What I had was a huge cup full of confidence, a renewed sense of self, and a feeling that I was on my path.
There was a job opportunity at a jewelry shop I always admired, New York Adorned. The rich history in tattooing, piercing, and gold jewelry gave me the feeling that all the worlds I am interested in and passionate about actually exist in one place. Three weeks after moving to New York, I started a new chapter of my life at New York Adorned and I never looked back. A big part of my job is working with jewelry, people, and their stories; I absolutely love it. My life in New York is everything that I ever dreamed of. I am able to be exactly who I am, and be a part of a company that I believe in, doing something that makes me happy and makes others happy.
SRG: A one liner that would describe you is?
JW: I consider myself to be resilient, loyal, and vivacious! Most of the people in my life would probably say I’m a ray of sunshine!
SRG: We’d agree with that! When did you know you were creative?
JW: I started taking pottery classes when I was 10, and that really opened up my world to different avenues of expressing creativity. I gained an interest in basically anything I could create with my hands from that point forward. I still absolutely love working with clay.
SRG: Tell us about a time you have been supported or inspired by mentors and when was a time you gave support?
JW: Wow that’s a huge question. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had some very intelligent business women in my life, and I still do today. I’ll never forget the first woman to give me an opportunity when I was 19. My hair stylist was opening her own salon and asked if I'd be interested in working as the receptionist. It was an inspiring experience watching her open her own business and being an integral part of it. This was the first time a job accentuated my people skills. I instantly realized my need to be working with humans and interacting in a way that made their day better. I am still thankful for that experience.
SRG: What is your earliest memory of style?
JW: No Doubt’s “I'm Just a Girl” music video. As an 11-year-old witnessing a powerful woman displaying the perfect blend of tough and pretty, I knew I could be whoever I wanted. Thanks Gwen!
SRG: In your opinion, what makes a person “cool?”
JW: Confidence, Self-Awareness, and Compassion.
SRG: What’s next for you? Wildest dream scenarios encouraged!
JW: I see myself being involved in the jewelry world, it fascinates me to no end. It can hold such deep meaning in peoples lives, heirlooms being passed down. I believe the layers of stories building on that jewelry from generation to generation is pure magic.