While checking out all the vendor booths at A la Carte Galore’s Empowerment Dinner and Networking Mixer last weekend. I stumbled across the ultimate jewelry display; these accessories had culture and soul.
Stephanie Whitfield, owner of Salikas Handcrafted Jewels was hard to miss with her eclectic style, blond hair and funky yet stylish glasses. She was eager to share her vision with us and I was eager to listen! Stephanie crafts her jewelry using everything from the various metals to gem stones (precious and semi precious). She says she started out initially doing sterling silver “D” bracelets, rings, necklaces, pendents, earrings and then went on to use wood in her creations as well.
“I etch designs into wood , things like Detroit’s skyline— I’m in love with Detroit’s skyline,” Stephanie says.
“I’m a D-girl and I love repping my city so I incorporate that into everything that I do.”
AM: What made you decide to start a jewelry business?
SW: It started out as a hobby when I was a very young child and continued on into my early adulthood because I love jewelry so much. Also, when I was four years old I got my ears pierced and my mother bought me beautiful 14k gold hoops and they broke me out because I was allergic. After that, she’d still buy me gold but she’d buy me white gold, so i had an affliction for things that were silver ever since. In my late teens/early twenties I started thinking “Hey, I could really do this.” I remember someone took me to a bead show and it was over!
From there, it was still more so of a hobby while I went off to college and after had a full-time career working for the government. I’ve worked at six different agencies but I never stopped making jewelry. I wasn’t making it as much as i do now but i’d make it and give it away as gifts. I more so did it for myself because as women we love accessories and jewelry is my thing. I’ve had a studio and art gallery for about three years now.
I planned to jump into it full-time, once I retired (a few years down the road), but i ended up having to come out on disability, so that was it. When I got well enough to where I could make jewelry and showcase it, I started doing that.
AM: What sets your jewelry apart from other jewelers in Detroit? Why should I buy from you?
SW: My jewelry is hand crafted and organic. There is no nickel or lead in my jewelry. I like to use the purity of various things and I’m eclectic too. When you look at some jewelry designers…nothings wrong with having a certain line but you can pretty much identify them by that and that alone. With my designs, because my own personal styling is eclectic , I’m also eclectic with my jewelry. I don’t sketch designs. I literally get the materials i’ll be working with and once I get the materials in front of me, I let energy flow.
AM: How long have you been in business?
SW: I formed Salikas in 2012. I was obviously making jewelry and doing some shows here and there prior but I do this full-time now. I’m just a Detroit artist doing my passion and branding myself.
If you’d like to follow Stephanie and her creations, she’s on Instagram. You heard it here, as you always do!
Stay Ambitious! Stay Motivated!