By Ginger DeShaney
Gemstones and bracelets. That’s how it started.
Stephanie Greenstein was looking to buy a bunch of bracelets from a shop. But they were $45 each, which got her to thinking, “I could do that.”
So she did. She made herself bracelets, and her friends noticed them. They wanted her to make them bracelets, too, so Stephanie made them for free.
“I was making pieces for friends, then those friends told their friends,” Stephanie said. And people were willing to pay.
“It started as a hobby and shifted to an actual business.”
She opened her e-commerce website — https://stephiechic.com/ — in June 2019. Stephie Chic features Stephanie’s beautiful handmade creations: bracelets, earrings, necklaces, tie-dye clothing, masks, and hair accessories.
Stephanie took her passion from a hobby to a business, all while working full time. She still works full time while managing Stephie Chic.
“I felt like I wasn’t being fair to myself, to the business, to the customers,” she said. “I finally said, ‘I really enjoy it so I should just keep doing it.’ ”
The biggest holdup was knowing how to get started. So she took some time and did her research. She works in marketing and social media for her full-time job and used that knowledge and experience to benefit Stephie Chic.
“I tried to make it something that doesn’t stress me out,” she said. “I don’t want to overdo it so I don’t enjoy it anymore. I let myself be OK with that.”
Her website features a mixture of her creations and pieces she curates. “I love to make pieces,’’ she said, “but because I don’t have a lot of time, I bring other pieces in.”
She makes her pieces on the weekends but also fits in Stephie Chic work when she can. “I wake up and the first thing I do is fulfill orders,” she said, noting that’s how she knows she loves it. She runs to the post office on her lunch breaks. “I try to do it when I have downtime,” she said. “I look forward to doing it.”
Stephanie’s favorite pieces are the ones she makes for her Charity Collection. Every month she dedicates pieces of jewelry to support a cause. “I love making these items,” she said. “It’s such a good feeling. These are the most meaningful; I know as I’m making them that it’s going to a good cause.”
Stephanie has supported various cancer charities, as well as ALS.
She gets very excited about new shipments of beads and supplies: “It’s like Christmas morning!”
Stephanie doesn’t have a specific style; she lets the materials and her mood dictate her creations. She creates everything from statement-y pieces to the very simple. She finds inspiration everywhere.
“Sometimes I want to wear something really fun,” she said, “and sometimes I just want pearl studs.”
South Boston businesses Neatly Nested (earrings) and East Side Yoga & Fitness (tie-dyed tank tops) carry her pieces.
When Stephanie lived in South Boston, she hand-delivered her pieces to customers. “I’d drive around and drop off the packages,” she said. “It’s a great little community.”
Stephanie and her husband recently moved to Weymouth. She converted a small bedroom into an office. The closet holds all her stuff. “I have so many beads …” she said, plus inventory, shipping supplies, clothing for tie-dye. “It’s all nicely organized.”
Last Christmas was amazing for Stephie Chic. Stephanie did several popup shops and private house parties. All of that has stopped this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year looks really different,” she said. But she’s hopeful people will go to the website for Christmas gifts.
“On behalf of small businesses, I encourage people to shop small, especially this year. Even if you don’t purchase something, there are other ways to support small businesses,” she said.
“It’s something special to support someone’s passions.”