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Founder Feature: Dawn L. Grady of Junebug Jewelry Designs

Meet Dawn L. Grady.

Owner / Designer of Junebug Jewelry Designs.

"If you're passionate about it, know that you can make your living from it. It won't be easy, but it will be so rewarding and fulfilling. And success will certainly come."

Junebug Jewelry Designs handcrafts timeless, meaningful, and unique artisan statement jewelry to honor bold, empowered women who want to walk into a room and make a powerful, lasting impression.


Q: What makes Cincinnati a great place to start a business?

A: I've talked to a lot of out-of-state entrepreneurs who are quite surprised when I share the resources that are available to entrepreneurs in Cincinnati. I was fortunate to complete a Business Incubator through MORTAR which has connected me to so many opportunities to advance my business. In fact, my retail space came about because of my involvement with MORTAR.

The community is very eager to support small businesses and goes as far as to seek them out. There is a lot of investment and celebration of entrepreneurship in Cincinnati. I would not have wanted to start Junebug anyplace else.

Q: How will the Main Street Ventures Grant impact you and your business?

A: This generous support from MSV will help Junebug launch a new, limited-edition birthstone jewelry collection.

Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?

A: I divide my life between days when my store is open and days when it's closed. When my shop is closed, those are my creative days. I try to start every day with some form of exercise or movement.

If it's a creative day, I'll go get my workshop ready and spend the day creating new pieces and filling online orders. I try to remember to take breaks to stretch or do some yoga, but sometimes I just can't stop working! I love getting lost in the design process and finding out where it's going to take me. When I'm finally done for the day, I'll make dinner and then monitor my social media and website metrics.

If it's a day when my store is open, then it usually begins with me finishing up designs I want to stock in the store. I open the shop at noon, and it closes at 6 pm (Th-Sat). In between customers, I manage all the administrative tasks and prepare content for emails, the blog, the website, and social media.

Q: What is a recent book, podcast, or news story that you found interesting?

A: I am addicted to the Thrive By Design podcast for jewelry designers and other creatives. It's mostly focused on building a thriving jewelry business, but I get a lot out of the background stories of the successful jewelry designers and experts that are featured. It's always so enlightening to hear the journeys of others who are doing well in this industry.

Q: What is next for Junebug Jewelry Designs?

A: What's next for Junebug is to keep growing and expanding its capacity to make handmade artisan jewelry. I want to be able to create jewelry for more phenomenal women and make Junebug international. So, my next steps are to keep growing and expanding.


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