My name is Donna Kupka, and I am the owner and operator of Gemstone Arts Designs. It is a small quality handcrafted jewelry business. I have been creating and making jewelry ever since I can remember. When I was a young child, my parents would buy me jewelry kits to play with mostly for Christmas. I really loved playing with them.
I was born in Rhode Island and I played outside a lot when I was young. I thought that the rocks outside were just incredible. There were so many different colors, some granite ones that sparkled, they were my favorite! So many different types of rocks and yes, I was fascinated with them. I collected rocks, as strange as that sounds. Marbles were another thing that I played with when I was young. In my eyes, they were beautiful. I loved all the colors and how they blended together and shined. My family and I moved to Florida when I was nine years old. As beautiful as Florida is, it didn’t have the rocks like they had in Rhode Island. We went to the beach almost every day for a year after school, and I collected beautiful sea shells instead.
Jewelry making was always a hobby of mine and I am self taught. I have recently opened a store on Etsy where I sell my handmade jewelry. I make the jewelry, take the photographs, do all the marketing, and packaging. It takes a lot of time and dedication but I enjoy it.
Why did I decide to open a shop on Etsy? On December 27, 2019 I lost my paralegal position in a law firm in Sarasota, Florida. The attorney that I worked for told me he could no longer afford me. I was devastated at first. I couldn’t seem to find another job right away. Then came Covid 19 and everything came to a stand still. So far, I have not had it. Then again, I haven’t seen any of my friends or family that I don’t live with for the last six months. I still filled out applications for jobs, but it seemed like next to nobody was hiring in law firms. Even the court houses were doing cases by zoom.
One day I made myself a bracelet and a pair of earrings and I just kept making more and more jewelry. I have been so busy these last few years, I didn’t have the time to make much jewelry. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. On a whim, I decided to start my shop. That is how Gemstone Arts Designs began.