Stephanie Wilde’s passion for creating jewelry started in 2009. She is now the owner of Say Anything… Jewelry located on Phillips Avenue.
The events leading up to this self-taught passion were designed in a way Wilde never expected.
Back in 2009, Wilde was a waitress at Foleys (now Morrie’s Steakhouse) in Sioux Falls. After breaking her foot, she was laid up at home when she came across an ad on Facebook for hand-stamped jewelry. Wilde was enticed and researched how she could create the beautiful jewelry she saw.
Wilde had a difficult time finding information on how to make it, as YouTube videos for this craft were not available in 2009. After scouring the internet for information and ordering her first set of tools from an airplane supply company, she started creating custom gifts and jewelry at her kitchen counter. The first necklace she ever made was the floating family design with her children’s names on it, Lillian and Graham.
“I loved the idea that it was personalized and custom,” said Wilde. “I loved that I could put my kids’ names on it.”
Wilde thought she would create gifts for family and friends and only sell a little bit on Etsy, but due to her local following and word of mouth, Wilde’s creations grew in popularity and demand. She was able to quit her server position after one year of making pieces. The following year, she was able to open her first location on North Main Avenue. The store moved to its current location in 2015, which Wilde says she was excited to move to because it offered more space and she felt it was a better location downtown.
“My favorite part about making the jewelry, other than actually hammering out the letters of the name and creating the handwriting and fingerprint jewelry, is the stories that people tell me,” said Wilde.
Wilde gets to know her customers and watches their families grow over the years. She has returning customers that add on to jewelry they previously purchased when children or grandchildren are born. She gets to learn their interests, hear their inside jokes, and develop relationships with them.
Wilde sits on the board for suicide prevention, so she says creating a piece of jewelry for a mother who lost her son to suicide was special. The mother came to Wilde with a note her son wrote when he gave her a bouquet of flowers. Wilde recreated his handwriting on a piece of jewelry so the mother could wear her son’s words every day.
Besides jewelry, Wilde also personalizes gifts such as keychains, bookmarks, and wallet inserts.
Wilde shares that she had a customer come in with a note from her father who had recently passed away. Right before he died, he wrote a note that read, “I love my family, Dad.” Wilde was able to imprint the words on various gifts for the customer and her six siblings, so they could have these words from their father.
“I felt like I really knew all of the family members who were getting these pieces,” said Wilde.
Wilde takes her tool kit home with her every night, and to this day, she still works at her kitchen counter. She says whenever she creates a piece of jewelry, she thinks about the person she is making it for and makes it with a whole lot of love.
“They’re not just customers, they’re not just clients,” said Wilde. “They really do become my friends.”
Say Anything… Jewelry is open Tuesday-Friday, 10a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, visit sayanythingjewelry.com.