I always love a good story about a high-tech girl who has escaped the sticky web of Silicon Valley. So when I met June Sablan at her Santana Row trunk show, not only did she impress me with her beautiful hand crafted jewelry pieces but her story made me smile also.
San Francisco Bay Area artist June Sablan designs timeless handcrafted StoneWear Jewelry. June creates her entire collection by using natural semi-precious stones, Swarovski Crystals, freshwater pearls, and precious metals.
SFBayStyle: So June, first thing first, how did you progress from high-tech to high-quality jewelry?
June: After being laid off from my high-tech marketing job in June 2003, I now had time to experiment with my creative side by making my own designs for myself. Soon my hobby turned into a business, after receiving so many compliments from friends and strangers who wanted to purchase the jewelry I was wearing. But the pivotal turning point was when I met a successful business woman in Fort Lauderdale, who shared her story with me about her success as a jewelry designer in the early 1980's. She encouraged me to pursue my dream.
SFBayStyle: They say that there is a good story behind every piece of good jewelry. What are some of the stories behind your pieces?
June: I was fortunate enough to pick up some beautiful vintage Swarovski Crystals from a local supplier, which I have been using in my Limited Edition Vintage Collection. These rare crystals come from Austria. During WWII, they were hidden away from the Germans in the walls of factories. Recently they were recovered and being sold through exclusive distributors around the world. Owning one of these signature pieces is like owning a piece of history.
SFBAyStyle: What is your favorite piece and why?
June: One of my favorites is the hand carved mother of pearl 'Hibiscus Flower Pendant'. It represents my love for sea shells and brings me back to when I was young. As a child, I collected them because I loved the look of the inside of the shell. Typically, mother of pearl comes from pearl oysters. There is something organic about pearls. The color, texture, thickness, and shape are never the same. I love random shapes. There is something beautiful about imperfections.
SFBayStyle: What is hot for the Holidays?
June: Go for the Gold - This holiday season will bring jewelry in a variety of gold tones and shades. Look for gold shades in beads and crystals mixed with metallic gold pieces in both matte and shiny finishes. Black never seems to go out of style. For the holiday evening, combine chunky black crystal beads with your little black dress. Make a statement with big and bold pendants.
SFBayStyle: What is your advice for others who want to break from high-tech?
June: Pursue your passion and do it 100%. Be persistent and do not give up. Follow your heart but have a structured process in place to achieve your dreams.
Since June's items are not mass produced, you get a special work of art that is original and never to be replicated in the same manner again. And how many times can you say you know the designer?