Like all expectant moms, Danielle Bowers, our NJMOMpreneur of the week, couldn’t wait to hold her own first born daughter, Jade, for the very first time. But shortly after giving birth, that hopeful vision was tragically taken away from her as Jade passed away moments after being born. Now, almost a year later, Danielle honors and celebrates her daughter’s memory with Something Jade—by creating keepsake jewelry with healing crystals, that are inspired by the love she and her husband have for their baby. We sat down with Danielle to talk to her about how she learned to create jewelry despite having never done it before, the healing power of crystals and the shore spot she and her husband go to find peace.
Featured image via Jessa Schifilliti
NJMOM: Where do you reside with your family in New Jersey?
Danielle Bowers: We live in Colts Neck. It’s nice here, we love it. I’ve been here for about 20 years.
NJMOM: You tragically lost your daughter, Jade, at birth. Has creating Something Jade brought you any sense of closure or peace?
Danielle: No, but then again, I didn’t expect it to. I just really needed something to occupy my time. I was a newborn photographer prior to Jade being born, which I did more as a hobby then. It wasn’t full time, just a couple times a month to keep busy. After Jade was born, I didn’t think I could go back to doing it—holding newborns, taking their photos, even just being around them. I think it would have been too difficult and emotional. So, I put that on the back burner. It was my husband who said, Why don’t you make jewelry? I never made jewelry before, or even imagined doing it. Prior to Jade being born, I had thought about having my own business, but it wasn’t until after that I realized what that business was supposed to be. It hasn’t brought me closure, but Something Jade has brought other people peace and comfort—like my family and friends, who feel a connection each time they wear a piece of my jewelry that Jade is with them.
NJMOM: Do you make your own jewelry?
Danielle: I purchase all my own materials and make my own pieces. I never even took a jewelry-making class. When I started Something Jade, I just taught myself. I watched videos and saw how other people were making pieces. I bought materials—beads, charms—and started creating.
NJMOM: What’s your favorite part about running Something Jade?
Danielle: When I come up with a design and see people’s reactions to it—that makes me feel happy. I feel good that people like the designs and purchase them and want to wear them. It’s simple, but it makes me so happy.
NJMOM: How do you get inspired to make each piece of jewelry?
Danielle: I sometimes find inspiration from other people. It’s kind of like clothing, like I wish it had a scoop neck instead of a crew neck. You always wish something was a little different. I see other people’s designs that catch my eye, but I always alter it to fit my taste and make it my own. I purchase materials that I like, and it will take me a few days to sometimes even figure out what will look good together. I play around with different colors, different styles, putting them together and taking them apart. I’ve found it can be challenging to create unique pieces.
NJMOM: You also sell, and advocate for, healing crystals. Can you explain a little more about what crystal healing is?
Danielle: Healing crystals are not there to treat or diagnose anything, but for some reason I’ve always been drawn to them, whether that’s using a crystal as a piece of decor or just admiring one when I see it in a store. I never used crystals prior to Jade being born, but after, I started getting into them more. I’ve found that you have to believe in them, or at least want them to work for the crystals to cleanse your body or mind. Every crystal has its own cleansing properties. For instance, if you want to be cheered up and you stare at the appropriate crystal, it could brighten your day—like staring at the sun. And they say if you’re drawn to a certain crystal, you are drawn to those healing properties. So, if you’re looking for more joy or abundance, seek out citrine. It makes you feel like you have a little more pep in your step. There are a lot of crystals out there, and they’re each so unique.
It hasn’t brought me closure, but Something Jade has brought other people peace and comfort—like my family and friends, who feel a connection each time they wear a piece of my jewelry that Jade is with them,” —Danielle Bowers, Something Jade
NJMOM: What’s your biggest goal for Something Jade?
Danielle: My initial goal and purpose of opening Something Jade was to keep myself busy and occupied, which I’m doing. I’ve also had no problem selling my inventory—of course, there’s always room to grow—so I’ve been successful with that as well. The ultimate goal for Something Jade would be to have a storefront or gift shop like I’ve always envisioned.
NJMOM: Do you have any passionate causes that you care about?
Danielle: Lately, I’ve been promoting and raising funds for pregnancy and infant loss through the TEARS Foundation, where my husband and I are involved in local meetings and their events. I’ve been helping the woman who runs it, coming up with more ideas for parents—whether it’s making a bracelet or necklace to honor their baby, another form of arts and crafts or something we can all do together outside.
NJMOM: Name your three favorite spots in New Jersey.
Danielle: Of course, Sandy Hook. We love it there and that’s where we took our maternity photos. We like to just drive around, wander the trails and get lost on the side streets. There’s so much history, and the abandoned buildings are also fun to look at and explore. It’s really such a beautiful place, in any season. Waypoint 622 in Brielle is also one of our absolute favorite places to eat dinner or grab a drink. It’s a restaurant and bar that’s overlooking the Manasquan Inlet and Hoffman’s Marina. We love to sit on the water and watch the boats coming in and out of the bay. Beach Tavern in Monmouth Beach is also one of our favorite dinner spots. It is also on the water and it has a beautiful atmosphere inside and out.
NJMOM: Do you have any advice for other NJMOMpreneurs who are just starting out?
Danielle: The one thing that I’ve learned is that you must have patience while starting a business. We all get so discouraged, if we don’t get enough “likes” on social media, or if we don’t reach the number of sales we wanted to, like we are not doing enough. But patience is the most important thing, especially for a mom who is also working. I don’t have any living children, but I can only imagine how consuming it would be to have a child to worry about while making jewelry—that’s why patience is key.