Monica Stephenson

#idazzletravels: Kenya and Tanzania Part Two: The Mines

As I described in Part One, I’m obsessed with the gems I find in East Africa, both mineral and of the human variety. But I’m not gonna lie. Seeing the gem mines is a huge reason that I travel to East Africa. Who knew that I’d tolerate cargo pants and snarled hair and red dirt [...]

#idazzletravels: Kenya and Tanzania Part One: The Gems

I find myself saying “Asante” to people instead of thank you, and, like a narcoleptic, fall asleep mid-sentence after 8pm. I must be home from Africa.
I just returned from my 6th trip–in about 30 months–to Kenya and Tanzania. After so many trips…

#idazzletravels: Come See Me at the Initiatives in Art and Culture Gold Conference!

This has been an exciting (and poignant) year so far. There is a lot going on in the jewelry world, and I’m trying to participate where I can. In addition to writing about interesting designers and traveling to trade shows to see the latest collections…

Larger than Life: A Tribute to Gichuchu Okeno

I am numb. Stunned. Two weeks ago today I was FaceTiming with Gichuchu Okeno, gem dealer, mine owner, father, husband, and friend. And today he is gone. I’ll never hear his laugh again. It’s hard to reduce a life down to its essence, to mere words. Okeno…

Diamonds With A Story: New Designer Collections from Dawes Design, Sandy Leong, Suzanne Kalan, and Matthew Campbell Laurenza

While I was in New York City recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Diamonds With A Story Press Preview. The origin of jewelry–where it comes from–is always a theme I am interested in…

Happy New Year!

I received this journal as a gift in 2013 and started using in early in 2014. It’s nearly full, the last few pages filling up as the year winds down. There are entries early on that are nearly illegible, as I scribbled my thoughts while bouncing along the red dirt roads in East Africa. Some missives were scripted on airplanes…

#idazzletravels Gemstone Adventures: a Mine in Kenya

On a recent Monday, I saw a posting on Facebook by Gichuchu Okeno, a miner, gem dealer and all-around Kenyan Renaissance man about progress at his tsavorite garnet mine in southern Kenya. Me, making a (relatively idle) Facebook comment…

idazzle.com Jewelry Designer Spotlight: Manya & Roumen Jewelry

I first became acquainted with Manya & Roumen a few years ago when I wrote this piece on bird jewelry. Their jewelry designs–dimensional, capricious–usually involve animals with character. Animals you might want to spend quality time with…

Ten Things I am Stealing from France

No, I didn’t actually stuff the Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture in the overhead compartment. (But I wanted to.) If the Instagram feed wasn’t still there, I would think that I had dreamed my trip to France. But no, I can see that I really was in Paris, living in the Marais. I doubt that [...]

Social Media Success and The Women’s Jewelry Association

Ok, a quick show of hands: who is afraid of Twitter? Paralyzed by Google+? Confused by Klout? Last week, my friend and fellow jewelry writer/blogger, Erika Winters and I asked those very questions, when we presented our strategies and tips for Social Media…