June Graham - Soul Stonz
June Graham is the founder of Soul Stonz - a line of simple, beautiful jewelry that speaks to your soul & connects to your intention.
Founded in 2018, Soul Stonz is June Graham’s second foray into wearable art. Previously, June’s talent took her work to the heights of big business with mass produced jewelry sold at high-end boutiques all over the world. Now, her heart brings her back to the basics of hand-crafting with her beautiful and purposeful jewelry.
June believes her jewelry and gift items can serve as visual representations of what someone wants to bring into their lives. She is most proud that she is intentionally creating joy and beauty to share with others.
Through Soul Stonz, June is committed to sustainability, ethical procurement and production, and creating meaningful pieces that transcend trends. It is her sincere desire to imbue every piece that leaves her studio with an intent for the future wearer.
June cleanses the crystals and stones with high vibrational frequency tuning forks, and offers up her best intentions for every Soul Stonz product. The jewelry that comes from Soul Stonz is intended to bring joy & happiness to the recipient, and they send out only their best intentions so that this jewelry can be used for the highest good of all.
There is something truly beautiful and magical about gemstones and crystals, especially when you consider the fact that humans have been drawn to beautiful stones since the beginning of time. Every known civilization has incorporated the use of crystals, whether adorning their royalty and leaders with them, using in spiritual practice, or in healing modalities. They have a history as old as the earth. June loves working with these stones, and hopes that you find them useful, beautiful, and joyous too. June has made her dreams a reality with Soul Stonz, and I’m so excited for you guys to connect with her, check out her jewelry line, and follow along!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
My name is June Graham. I’m originally from South Africa, but I immigrated to the United States when I was 8yrs old with my mother and cousin. I’m a married, mother of two wonderful boys, and I have the joy of building my gemstone jewelry and gift company, Soul Stonz, surrounded by my family. I am creating and curating thoughtful items that can serve as positive reminders of the energy a person wants to create in their lives.
How did you get started?
I’ve been in the jewelry business for 20 years with a semi-break in the middle when having my children. It started because I wanted to create something I could control and be my own boss. During, the first half of my career I worked with some big names, like Bloomingdales, Sundance Catalog, and BGBG MAX AZRIA. Although, I loved that so much, in honestly it was like a machine of just pumping mass produced things into an already over-crowded market place.
After, I had children I felt lost to be honest. I didn’t have my company anymore; I had a lot of my identity tied up in being this idea of a talented successful designer. When I didn’t have that I felt like I was drifting and not as valuable or as powerful as I once was.
It took a while to figure out that I have a need to be creative, to actually make, design, and even collaborate with other designers to bring what I like to call “visual reminders for positivity.”
What inspired the work that you're doing?
I think the need to make a positive impact in the world inspires me. I had this need to create, but I didn’t want just to go back to what I did before. It had to have real meaning to me, so it could mean something to the recipient. I also had the need for a way to transfer joy, love, and encouragement to others, and as crazy as it sounds I realized crystals and gemstones have this magical ability to do that, at least I feel that way and that same feeling will resonate with people who are on the same wavelength.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
My professional passions are creating jewelry that sparks joy, and other pieces that can be tools for positive intentions. I just love creating unique items that incorporate gemstones, and can be beautiful reminders of what a person wants to manifest for themselves. I also just love connecting with my customers.
The first half of my career in jewelry was mostly on the wholesale side, selling to stores. I didn’t get to interact with the people who were wearing my work. Now, through doing more in person events and pop-ups, I get to talk to people who are looking for something for themselves or gifts for loved ones. The energy I get from the excitement or joy from my customers is so rewarding.
Maybe 6 months after I started Soul Stonz, a lady contacted me and asked me to make her something to help her as she was just beginning her journey fighting breast cancer. She wanted something to help calm her, and bring peace while going through the scary process. That really jolted me back into why I first started because I had actually just gotten a pretty big order with a major department store, but it left me feeling off track. She really reminded me of my purpose with this business.
My personal passions are building the relationships I have with my children, they are 8 and 10 years old, and are such unique little humans, I really love getting to know them and try my best to help them navigate life. I have always loved to dance, even thought it might be a secondary job while I was younger, but I always put it off. I finally decided that I can’t wait much longer, and at 44 yrs. old, recently became a certified dance instructor and have started teaching classes.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I think the connection between what I create and my customers lights me up. When someone finds something of mine, that I designed or curated and “gets it” that, seriously lights me up. The idea that a person will find joy in getting or gifting something I created, makes me so happy. To think that I contributed to the raising their vibrations to happiness, love, or comfort, makes me smile inside and out.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I try to maintain an attitude of gratitude, and remind myself that even set backs, or what appears to be a negative situation is really an opportunity for growth. For example, I recently did a vendor showcase where I was situated between other jewelry companies, one who also had similar, but different products; she even had tuning forks, although I don’t take mine them out in public. I was bummed, but after reflecting I thought, “you know this is a lesson in distinguishing myself from other people. No matter what field you’re in, there will always be others that are similar, and you will have competitors, but it’s up to you to make your self unique and reach people in a way that only you can. I don’t need all the customers in the world, I just need the ones that need me, and get what I’m trying to do.
I absolutely, have a ton of resources, in the form of a million audio books, at least 1 a week or every other week. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and every night I fall asleep to either meditation music or guided meditations. As a release, I try to regularly exercise, usually in the form of dance. I find that my body craves movement, and wants celebrate what it can do.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
I think she’d be really proud. I had a challenging childhood, not terrible, just challenging as an immigrant from single parent home, it was economically and emotionally challenging. I had relatives, and even teachers that did not think I would become much, so those thoughts and stories settled into my psyche.
Doing everything that I am doing now makes me feel so very fortunate. Even if I don’t become everything I envision for myself, the fact that I have the freedom and opportunity just to attempt it, usually leaves me with a feeling of deep gratitude when I think about.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
Not so much a mantra or affirmation, but more of an internal questioning or dialog. When I find myself upset or in a negative state, I ask myself; what am I thinking about? Then, I take a look at how that thought is making me feel, once I’ve decided I don’t like the thought or feeling, then I can decide to change the thought.
Our thoughts impact our feelings, and our feelings prompt our actions or inactions.
That was a light bulb moment for me, the difficult thing is having the self-awareness to check in and decide to make some shifts in my thinking. I learned this from a podcast by Brooke Castillo and audio books by Byron Katie.
What is your biggest dream?
To own a destination lifestyle crystal boutique that has everything from specialty herbal teas, to gemstones paired with essential oils, to crystal artwork, jewelry, and all your wildest crystal inspired dream products. I’ll have sound healing & color therapy treatments, massages, yoga, general wellness will be the overall concept. And for my boys to remember that mom had a dream and she worked hard at making it happen.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here