Meet Gabriella, the creator of Ramona Stone and her amazing handmade botanical jewels that help you preserve the treasures of nature.
What is the story behind your store?
“I have so much room in my heart for nature. Living in NZ i come across some pretty surreal spots and am forever left in awe. ‘Ramona Stone’ aims to preserve these treasures, to honour the beauty and capture the moment for ever.”
Why did you decide to start your own business? What did you do before you started the shop? Are you doing it full time? If not, what else do you do?
“I work full time as a Graphic and Web Designer so i guess i didn’t have to out source any part of the proccess as I could set up everything on my own. Working 2 jobs is very time consuming though I must say.”
Where do you find the necessary tools and material that you use for creating your products?
“One of my points of difference is that every aspect is as Eco and Ethically friendly as possible. This means the material i use practices a green chemestry technique, replacing petrolium based carbon with plant based carbon. This results in a dramatic reduction of contribution to negative Climate Change related impacts on the world’s oceans including: sea level rise, ocean acidification/loss of coral reefs, coastal erosion/loss of beaches, etc). The raw materials going into my creations are co-products or waste products of other industrially important processes. These materials do not compete with food sources or displace food-based agriculture.
A few of my products do include real Insects, and I need to clarify that these are ethically sourced at no harm to the Insect. This means They were brought up in their natural habitats on Butterfly/Moth breeding farms in Peru, Madagascar, Thailand etc helping the sustainable needs of our planet and carrying on the cycle of life for both Flora and Fauna. Not only do these farms successfully promote breeding and raise the Insects in a safe predator-free environment each Insect I purchase off them (after their natural death) also give many disadvantaged villages around the world an income to survive helping their environment and themselves. So I have decided to embed these Insects in my products to honor their past life and preserve their beauty forever. I beleive that we need to respect the works of pollinators such as Bees, Butterflies, Moths & Birds more as they have an incredibly important role in sustaining our world and the Circle of Life.
As for plants, they have been collected locally around my home in Auckland, New Zealand. I only take a small sample off each plant I see potential in to avoid waste.
All other materials used are completely Vegan.”
How long did it take before you started having customers? What did you do to acquire and to keep customers?
“My first few customers were friends, but after sharing around my social media pages people started tagging their friends and families and the cycle grew from there.”
If you could go back and change something about your business, what would it be? What were some of the mistakes you have made along the way? Do you ever regret doing your own thing and starting your business?
“I don’t have any regrets as of yet, however i do plan to acheive greater success. The game has only just begun.”
What are your plans for the future? Do you plan on introducing new products?
“The awesome thing about my product is that there are no limmits and each and every day i have new inspiration. Each batch of products is one of a kind with each individual piece holding a unique complexion. I often have customers asking me to re-create a particular piece, but i will never be able to achieve an exact replica. I think that’s the beauty in it though.”
What do you think of the service that Shoptsie offers and what is your general impression of Shoptsie? Would you recommend Shoptsie to others?