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Conversations with Dawn Grady

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dawn Grady.

Hi Dawn, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am an independent jewelry designer and owner of Junebug Jewelry Designs, a wearable art boutique with both an online presence and a storefront in the vibrant Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. I gave up my 26-year career as a marketing/public relations professional to follow my passion for creating statement jewelry pieces. My jewelry celebrates women’s empowerment and independence with bold, meticulously handcrafted, original designs that I love making with my own two hands. These timeless beauties help dynamic women immortalize the moments when they feel their strongest, most accomplished and best selves.

I use a combination of wire weaving and metalsmithing techniques to transform copper and Argentium Silver into true showstoppers. When I want to add a punch of color, I use semi-precious gemstones. I focus primarily on limited edition and one-of-a-kind designs to ensure that my customers don’t see their unique pieces on anyone else.

My journey into jewelry-making started with simple bead-stringing classes at a local university. My first necklace and earring set were a hit among my classmates, and their accolades encouraged me to get some supplies and start making jewelry at home. Eventually, I wanted to enhance my skills and started taking classes with master metalsmiths. They taught me both traditional and modern techniques to develop my own vision of wearable art. I continue to take classes to hone my skills and refine my skills.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being an entrepreneur is never a smooth road. There have been many ups and downs, from financial hurdles to simply managing all the details of entrepreneurship. When we have jobs, we work our respective roles. When we own businesses, we find ourselves in roles for which we have zero expertise. And, also zero budget to hire someone who does! So, navigating all the details that are outside of my skillset has been the biggest struggle for me. But, on the other hand, I’ve learned so much, and am applying what I am learning to my passion. There is nothing more rewarding than that.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Junebug Jewelry Designs educates and inspires women to invest in bold, meaningful and distinctive wearable art jewelry that empowers their personal style and celebrates their incomparable strength and femininity. This reverence to boldness and uniqueness is the driving force behind Junebug’s passionate artistry.

Junebug is known for mixed metal designs that bring together natural copper with brilliant Argentium Silver for a truly signature look. Not only do they create beautiful contrast, but they also flow effortlessly into existing copper and silver jewelry collections.

Junebug is all about originality and wearability. From an originality standpoint, I only create one of a kind and limited-edition designs to ensure that my customers don’t see their jewelry on others. And, my pieces pack a powerful visual presence, but are lightweight and designed for all-day wear.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I listen to the Thrive By Design podcast from Flourish and Thrive Academy. This podcast really supports jewelry and other handmade businesses in their journey to become worldwide brands. I also like the Jewellers Podcast, Beekman New York: Fine Jewelry Conversations, and The Jewelry District. I also absorb lots of lessons from Flourish and Thrive Academy. I also tap into my local Chamber of Commerce (Over-the-Rhine) and Entrepreneurship Academy (MORTAR).


  • Prices range from $55 to $500

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