Jewellery with meaning
Kalir Stevens is frequently told that she has an old soul. She thinks she’s just fortunate to have discovered her interests at a young age.
They’re what led her to start an atypical business for a teen: SheVenus is a line of gemstone jewellery; each piece is designed to encourage a more complete woman.
“No one expects a 19-year-old to be into astrology and gemstones and crystals,” said Ms Stevens.
She started SheVenus in February and is thrilled to be a part of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s programme for young entrepreneurs, which launched last month.
“I’m not doing it just to sell something beautiful,” she said. “Women should be able to adorn their bodies in pieces that truly resonate with their mind, body and soul and SheVenus aims to provide that. SheVenus encompasses sensuality, spirituality and femininity — three very important aspects of being a woman.”
Her line was “created by chance”. Looking to buy for herself, she couldn’t find anything that appealed. “I didn’t want jewellery without meaning,” she said. “I went to shops but only could find outdated kind of stuff.”
Undeterred, she went online, picked out a selection of gemstones, and brought them in. The plan was to design her own, “but it didn’t go very well”.
“One day, a friend who knew I had them came over and we took out the supplies and played around with them while talking. “Suddenly I realised I’d made a necklace. I posted it on social media and a lot of people were interested.”
SheVenus took off from there. Ms Stevens calls it “spiritually chic”.
“I feel it has elegance, it has femininity and it’s stylish; it’s fashion-forward but made out of gemstones. I look at the different properties of gemstones and consider what could complement each other and then put them together and make a design.
“It kills two birds with one stone. Some people might not know what’s going on, but they are attracted to [my designs] because of how they look; others understand the meaning and like them for that reason first.”
People have sworn by gemstones for centuries, claiming their healing properties improve inner peace, strength, prosperity and any number of ailments.
Initially, Ms Stevens felt guilty about buying into those beliefs. “I’ve always been into astrology. I used to play games online and horoscopes would pop up on the side.
“At the time, I was practising the Christian faith and knew I was not supposed to look at it.
“In my second year of high school I went through a lot of emotional stuff and started seeking out other things because Christianity no longer fulfilled me. I remembered astrology and how accurate it was for me and how it resonated with me.”
Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling self-help book, The Secret, was lying around the house. Everything became clearer with the second read.
“Now that I was older, I could understand [what she was trying to say] and I fell down the rabbit hole. I want to inspire women to embrace their femininity, their spirituality and their sensuality.
“I feel female energy is suppressed. We’re not free to be bold and feminine and the world is made of males and females for a reason. We need female energy and female input, but it’s a male-dominated world.
“I want women to take hold and take charge of that. As spiritual, creative women, we’re one up on men.
“We’re very intuitive, in touch with our feelings and closer to the divine. What I’m doing is a small step for a really bigger picture.”
Necklaces, chokers, earrings, anklets, bracelets, rings, toe rings, thigh bands and waist-beads are all part of her collection. Pieces are custom made.
“I’ve always been creative, but until got into BEDC’s [Summer Student Entrepreneur Programme], I lacked structure,” Ms Stevens said. “They helped me a lot and I am super thankful for that.
“I wanted to bring my youthfulness and inspiration to modern-day women unlike what’s out there that I think is old and needs a bit of refreshing.
“I want people to learn about what’s behind [the gems]. Lots of people still see gemstones and crystals as magical, crazy things, but everything in nature has the power of healing properties.
“It’s the same with plants and vegetables and rocks. Gemstones are just prettier rocks.
“We live in an energetic universe and everything is vibrational. Rocks, millions of years old, are soaking up and nestled in pure energy. They take on the different properties that nature has given them and lend them to us when we wear them.”
Her hope isn’t for a physical store, but an online presence.
“I want to ship internationally, but want to establish myself here first and then offer my designs to the world,” Ms Stevens said. “I also hope I can change the negative perception people have on the youth.
“It’s understandable, but I’d like to show them that not all young people are the same. A lot of us have great ideas, but unfortunately we have this negative stigma.”
Look for SheVenus outside Frog & Onion in Dockyard on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 3pm until August 24. Kalir Stevens will showcase her work Wednesdays at Harbour Nights. Find her on Instagram: shevenus_
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