Meet Your Maker: Jewel Ya

Our “Meet Your Maker” series spotlights the stories behind groundbreaking creators in our community. This installment features Julia Winter, the founder and designer of Jewel Ya.

Celebrating 20 years as a local jeweler who wears her heart on her sleeve — necklaces, bracelets, rings and more — Julia Winter is revered in the Valley as the creative behind Jewel Ya.

Winter began her career in technology sales and management after graduating from ASU and UArizona with undergrad and graduate degrees. Amid a successful career and the birth of her second son, Winter sought out a life coach to lean into her desire for more time with her young family and a career intertwining her creative side and business skills.

In 2003, Winter took a leap of faith, launched Jewel Ya, and never looked back. “In the beginning, I decided to focus on what I knew well — fostering relationships,” said Winter. “I enjoy working closely with people, so hosting trunk shows and creating options for corporate clients was a natural path. I have been fortunate to continue to build from there.”

Having an online presence while working with charities and causes also proved successful for Jewel Ya’s growth. Finding a balance between various business channels helped Winter develop a sustainable business model and evolve year after year.

Connecting with clients in a meaningful way remains the core of Winter’s success as she reflects upon her company’s 20th anniversary. Incorporating her love for the heart symbol became a signature look for Jewel Ya’s designs and a coveted element identifying the jeweler’s pieces in the beginning. Simple lines and classic features such as pearls, hand-hammered embellishments and gemstones have withstood decades of trends. Loyal clients often tell Winter their go-to daily jewelry is comprised of Jewel Ya pieces purchased years ago.

Embracing community is paramount for Winter and the Jewel Ya team. In addition to supporting nonprofits Valleywide, the company showcases women making a difference in their lives and the lives of others through education, business and more. Every Sunday, Jewel Ya features “Sunday Share” on its social media platforms, highlighting women celebrating success to encourage positivity and joy.

In conjunction with the company’s 20th anniversary, Jewel Ya created two signature designs infusing elements from her original pieces of decades past. Twenty-five percent of each capsule collection purchased from Oct. 3-17 will benefit Valley nonprofits, Fresh Start and Mother’s Grace.

With 20 years under her professional belt, Winter isn’t slowing down soon. The Valley jeweler is looking forward to continued growth for her business while remaining hands-on and connected to her clients and community.

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About Zenobia Mertel

Zenobia Mertel is Frontdoors Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor and covers a mix of Arts and Culture topics for the media company. She also works as an on-air host and columnist for Inspired Media 360, focusing on people, places, life and style.
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