We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacey Marie Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stacey Marie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work Life balance is an everyday struggle! My perspective has definitely changed since starting my own business but it’s something that I work on everyday. I’m learning how to shift my time and create boundaries between home life and work life. Setting a schedule on days the I can take care of my administrative work while on other days I can focus on my bench work. I also have certain times during the day where I usually will post on social media and respond back on comments and DM’s since a good 80% of my custom work and repairs are via instagram and Facebook it’s important for me to have a good response time with any clients and potential clients. The day to day life can get pretty hectic during certain seasons but my focus and priority are always my 2 children Nika and Cito they’re 11 and 7, My husband is really amazing in helping me keep everything organized, I really wouldn’t be able to accomplish as much as I do without him. When I used to work as a jeweler for a large corporation, everything was very structured and work life balance was a breeze I had a set schedule and worked Mon-Fri 9-5pm it was comfortable. When it was time to work, I completed the jobs for the day and when my shift was over I’d clock out and go home. I never brought work home with me. Once the Covid Pandemic hit I was furloughed and found myself unemployed. In trying to make the most of my skill set Nika+Cito Jewelry was born, I named my business after my 2 kiddos. Now that I work from my home studio lines tend to get blurred every so often, but sticking to my schedule helps keep my workload and due dates organized.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets Nika+Cito Jewelry apart from others is I am a woman working in a “man’s world” meaning once a job you would only find men doing is now a medium I wish to express as an art form. I create and complete everything in house, starting with the sketch, 3 dimensional model, cartable resin print so the client can view scale, cast in gold metal and complete all the finishings like stone setting and final polish. Very few jewelers complete everything in house most utilize vendors to complete certain aspects of the production. Due to the fact that everything is completed in house our lead times are generally shorter from start to finish. Our clients also love that they can sit and meet the jeweler who will be constructing their piece, making the process special and more personal. I did attend college and graduated with my bachelors in Fashion Merchandising and Design; with a concentration in Technical Design, from International Academy of Design & Technology. I’ve also gained over 15 years of experience designing and creating jewelry for companies such as Vince Camuto, BCBG and Signet Jewelers. I think that my studies have laid the foundation and school equips you with the basics but, real life experiences teaches you. Jewelry making isn’t just creating pretty rings, I’ve had to learn a lot about how to operate the business side like calculating profit margins and budgeting supplies watching my expenses. Utilizing social media as platform for marketing has been was has grown my business. While I may not have an enormous amount of followers I have a very loyal audience whom have been keeping me very busy. I would love for the world to know that Nika+Cito Jewelry was created pretty much out of nothing but the sheer will to succeed especially during a pandemic.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Orlando is soo much more than just Mickey Mouse town! We have Many places to hang I live just outside of Downtown Orlando and we love Lake Eola. You have beautiful views, delicious restaurants, every Sunday they have the Farmers Market along with the best food trucks Orlando has to offer! At night downtown comes alive with nightclubs, lounges and bars. If you want to relax, downtown offers a plethora of Day Spa’s. In Winter Park, Audubon Park and Baldwin Park right on the outskirts of downtown you can enjoy the small town vibes by walking up and down enjoying the shops and restaurants.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been super blessed to have an amazing group of jewelers in my corner as mentors! I will never forget how they’ve poured patience and knowledge into me and forever grateful for all I’ve learned from them! Shout out to my mentors Nikki and Will Velasquez, Noel Torres and Juan Valcarcer. I’ve also learned soo much and have formed really amazing friendships with other jewelers and designers who have collaborated with me and given amazing advice and direction for growth Kristin and Kofi Essel with Thirdcrown, Sandy Rubin with Sandy Rubin Jewelry, Carla Poma with Carla Poma Jewelry, Kristina Brownell with Rockhaus Metals, Samatha Redding with Gypset, Tonya Davidson with Tonya Davidson Jewelry.

Website: www.nikacitojewelry.com

Instagram: @nika.cito.jewelry

Linkedin: Stacey Marie Sanchez

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nika.cito.jewelry

Other: tik tok @nika.cito.jewelry

Image Credits
Christopher Cabos Samantha Gades

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