Don’t you love how you feel when you wear a new piece of jewelry? Christine Rio of Slate Jewelry is creating custom statement jewelry that is right on trend. Making women feel beautiful through the art of creation, is a gift to be celebrated.
I met Christine when I ordered this stunning pair of unique, custom designed pearl earrings. I love her use of shapes and different pearls, metals, and stones. Many of her designs are big and bold, well suited to larger women like me.
Her story is fascinating because jewelry designing came to her in a roundabout fashion and later in life.
Christine left her career to be a stay-at-home-mom and was in the process of figuring out how to reinvent herself. After spending two years cooking all the hot lunches at her children’s school twice weekly, something else was needed to occupy her time at home.
She bought an earring kit from Michael’s. Several weeks later, she had a business name and had signed up for a craft show with a goal to make 100 pairs of earrings. Christine has been figuring the rest out ever since and is happy to share some key learnings on her journey.
Stay True To Yourself
Christine faced a number of challenges, not the least of which was receiving awful comments about what she made. The best advice she received was “get used to the idea that not everyone is going to like what you do.”
In the beginning, trying too hard to be all things to all people caused some problems. Once she made a decision to not change just to make more sales, things fell into place.
“I know I would be dishonest to myself, and it doesn’t feel good. When you’ve worked hard to establish an identity that defines your work, the rest will come if you stay true to it.”
Define Your Unique Self-care Routine
When Christine gets stressed out about deadlines, the first thing to go is her workouts. She isn’t one to spend a lot of time on self-care indulgences like spa days. Curling up with the pugs and a good book is her kind of self-care, then she gets back to the work-outs. Self-wellness is essential to happy living and every woman benefits from taking time to refresh their body and soul.
Stick To It
When the road gets tough it can be hard to stay on task. Christine uses a large resin and gold leaf platter made by Martha Sturdy to remind her she can get through it. She explains it was a housewarming gift from a former employer. “My time with her was truly a nightmare. She was verbally abusive, the work environment was toxic and I felt physically ill going in to work every day. I stuck it out. We ended up in a kind of truce of respect. She knew how much I admired Martha Sturdy (who is a huge source of inspiration for me). That platter is a symbol of how strong I can be.”
Tenacity is the strength Christine relies on. Every woman has one so, go with it and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, Her insight is inspiring. “I have made a lot of mistakes, in this business, in life, but you just have to move through it. Even in the worst situations, I’ve learned to just deal with what has to be done. There is no point freaking out in the heat of the moment. You can do that later when things have been sorted out. Always focus on the bigger picture, and move to that goal.”
Revel In Your Achievement
You need to acknowledge your achievements. Women often minimize the efforts and successes achieved in everyday life, like those undertaken while being a friend, wife, mother or daughter.
“Honestly, my greatest achievement is when my children are proud of themselves. I’m pretty in awe of them most of the time, and when they achieve a goal, I am overjoyed.”
“When I was around 12, I read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. I didn’t really have any friends then, and the story taught me that everyone has a place and is deserving of complete, unconditional, respect and acceptance. None of us are in a position to judge someone else.”
Learning new things is how these beautiful pieces and this business was born. I wondered if there was anything new on Christine’s list to learn and was curious about her answer “how to play the cello.” It doesn’t exactly follow jewelry design. She laughed and admitted that the dark, moody sounds probably play to her “goth” side.
Christine shares words of encouragement for women looking to add something new to their life:
“If you feel passionate about something, then do it. Leap right in and make it happen. There isn’t a nice, tidy straight line to get to the end goal, and you may be all over the place for awhile. But if you truly believe in what you’re doing, you’ll sort it out along the way. Yes, you could fail, but I prefer to look it at as evolving. Be open-minded about your journey, and you’ll find a way to make it work.”
Check out the Slate Jewelry website