By: Joi Bass
People always say you can tell a lot about a person based on their clothes. But did you know you can perceive a person’s story based on their jewelry? Writer Ruth McLeroy once said, “Jewelry is like a biography, a story that tells the many chapters of our lives.” This quote holds truth to our NFM Spotlight Elizabeth Potts.
Elizabeth is the founder of the sustainable jewelry line The Moonstoned. Born and raised in New Mexico, Elizabeth discovered her love for jewelry through stories and firsthand experience. “Growing up in New Mexico, I was heavily influenced by the stories my grandfather used to tell me about the Zuni and Navajo reservations. These stories piqued my curiosity so I decided to take a look for myself.” Elizabeth said that when she went to these reservations, she was fascinated when she saw the Zuni and Navajo tribes making their jewelry by hand.
Several years later, Elizabeth decided to go off to college. During her time in school she decided to major in the two things she was passionate about: jewelry-smithing and history. “Before I got to college I had an idea of what I wanted to do. But once I got to school I had this sort of ‘aha’ moment, like I knew that I could make a career out of this.” Elizabeth said she realized that at the beginning of time, jewelry was made with purpose and intention. From that point on, Elizabeth decided that’s what she wanted to make her life’s work.
After having her “aha” moment, Elizabeth dedicated her life after college to building her brand from the ground up. Elizabeth knew that she wanted to build a jewelry collection with vintage and antique pieces. However, most people were trying to figure out why. Many jewelry companies sell their jewelry just to make a quick buck. But that wasn’t the case for Elizabeth. “I have always been in love with the history and the story behind every piece of jewelry. I wanted to build a stronger connection to the creation of antiques instead of just trying to make a quick dollar. So I went off on my own to build that connection.”
In 2016, Elizabeth launched her jewelry line The Moonstoned. When talking with her, I was immediately intrigued at the name and wanted to know why she chose that name for her brand. “Believe it or not, a lot of pivotal moments in my life occurred on a full moon. I met my husband on a full moon, he proposed on a full moon, we got married on a full moon and my daughter was born on a full moon. And for me, when it comes to my love for jewelry and the history behind every single piece, it gives me that feeling of being stoned—it’s just a high that I don’t want to come down from.”
Elizabeth and I discussed how she got her start and how she built up her brand online and offline. “I actually had this tiny bench in my apartment where I would experiment with different antiques that I had at the moment and make a variety of pieces. One day one of my girlfriends, who was actually starting her own jewelry collection, reached out to me to help her get her business off the ground. That motivated me to help get The Moonstoned off the ground.”
Elizabeth said that one thing that really helped her was her support system. “My mom always says that she is my biggest fan and she truly is. She has been there every step of the way. Even when I had doubts and even when I wanted to quit, she helped push me to keep going.” Elizabeth also thanks her husband who helps her with the computer and photography. “I slowly taught myself to do everything. However, my husband truly taught me the ins and outs of how to work the computer. I'm so lucky that my husband is generous enough to help me set up photoshoots and the content for our website and social media platforms.”
Elizabeth also talked about what sets The Moonstoned apart from the rest. “I come from a really big family and my family has strong ties to hospitality. In that field you know how to talk to people and how to be empathetic. So I took what I knew into my jewelry brand. I want to connect with everyone. I want the experience to be more than just gold and gemstones, I want it to create a beautiful experience around a piece of jewelry that makes my customers feel amazing.” Elizabeth said that every time her clients look at the piece of jewelry she designs for them, she wants them to reflect on their experience they had. Whether it was an engagement ring, beautiful necklace or earrings, she wants her clients to remember the sentimental value and story behind that piece of jewelry that they can tell their children and their children’s children.
Elizabeth said that another reason why she believes her business stands out is because a lot of her clients are repeat customers. “About 60% of my clients are repeat clients. I make the experience a memorable one for them so that way they can always remember how that piece of jewelry makes them feel and they know that if they want another piece of jewelry for a special occasion, I’m the first person they think of because of how I made them feel.”
We live in a generation where everyone wants to be their own boss and wants to be self-made. I asked Elizabeth what advice she has for those who want to start their own business. “Never give up. I remember when I first told people that I wanted to start my own business they thought I was crazy, but don’t worry about what others think. You have to be passionate and go after those passions. If you remain passionate, humble and never give up, you will go far.”
To see Elizabeth’s beautiful jewelry pieces or make a purchase , you can visit her website https://themoonstoned.com.
You can also follow her on Instagram.
Joi Bass is an editorial writer who specializes in social justice, mental health advocacy, online safety and the well-being of our youth. You can follow her on Instagram.