Facing cancer led Vickie Styles to styling her beautiful St. Simons Island Jewelry. Three years ago in January her daughter showed her some leather jewelry that she loved. That March she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was determined not to let that be the focus of her life. As she explains it,“I didn’t want people to think, ‘oh she’s the one with cancer.’ I purposely set out to have a great life and an interesting life. When I am working with the bracelets it is therapeutic and it speaks to my joy, to my soul. One creation can resonate so many different things inside of you.”Vickie is one of those people that you instantly like. There is warmth in her genuine smile that emanates from her heart and is applied to her many creations. They are all elegant, stunning and created with luscious leathers imported from Spain and Greece. She carries 31 different vegetable-dyed colors and started working with the newly trending metallic leather as well. She incorporates adornments and charms in brass, silver and gold covering a less expensive conglomerate of metals called zanak, which is a hypoallergenic safe metal mixture. Her sea life collection includes octopus and starfish. Actual starfish make whimsical displays for the bracelets on their lengthy limbs in shops like Sea Island and Blue Moon. Swarovski Crystals, rose gold beads, and baubles of all sorts combine for an infinite number of design possibilities.
Her husband Rich had the idea for them to be tournament prizes and the Sea Island Resort Women’s Member/Guest recipients absolutely loved them. Vickie gave the ladies leathers and elements to choose before the round and delivered the customized pieces after. She said, “I was the goodie bag. It was so fun!” Word spread to other courses like the Landing and Reynolds Lake Oconee where we met.
Vickie always wanted to be an artist but thought that had to mean painting or drawing. Now she has discovered her special talent for designing jewelry and it has enriched her life along with many others. There is no better version of making lemonade out of lemons than this.
She shared, “When I was going through chemo, it was the first time I started calling on people. They didn’t know I was going through cancer but when they saw me with scarves covering my head, it blew me away the responses. You’re very physically vulnerable and therefore vulnerable all over with chemo. I didn’t know that kindness existed in such abundance. They let me lead a normal life. People are beautiful.”
One day she was driving down the road and saw a sign for a Harley Davidson ride benefiting research for breast cancer. She called and donated bracelets. On a tough day fighting the cancer war, the woman who received them called Vickie to thank her. Vickie said, “She really made my day; got me through that day. Now there are so many places in need -Hope for Haiti, so many places to share with. I’m living in my Grandmother’s beach cottage. I have a sea turtle table that I create my bracelets on. When I am designing it takes me to another world. I love it!”
No, cancer is not her focus but she sure can inspire others to live through it, to thrive through it. As the business grows organically, Vickie isn’t sure if she wants to administer a website but she probably will as her daughter joins in the business. Meanwhile she can be reached for wholesale or retail and special orders on www.Facebook.com/st.simonsislandjewelry or on www.etsy.com Search there for the abbreviated version, StSimonJewelr Her pictures say it all. Good luck Vickie!