TV reporter Rebecca Sheehan was between jobs at KTVI and KSDK when she was searching for a creative outlet. Also an avid practitioner of yoga, Sheehan wanted to find a way to bring the self-reflective aspects of yoga to her life outside the studio. Combining these two ventures, she began designing jewelry in 2016.
This creative outlet soon became Soulshine Yoga Jewels, a local business that sells handcrafted jewelry pieces designed with meaningful gemstones and charms to encourage inspiration, inner growth and enlightenment.
At the beginning of a yoga class, yoga teachers will often ask their students to set an intention for their practice – something to act as a reminder throughout practice when the mind wanders or the student becomes distracted. Intentions are something the student wants to cultivate during practice and out in the world – things like peace, compassion or mindfulness.
“My purpose in creating this jewelry is to keep that intention from your yoga class, or any self-reflecting experience for that matter, with you throughout your day,” Sheehan says. “My intention in class is often to be present because we’re all so busy and our minds are in a million different places.”
The current Soulshine line features necklaces and beaded bracelets. Sheehan originally started focusing solely on bracelets but added necklaces in February after noticing a demand from the yoga and jewelry community. Many of the designs are done in the style of a mala, a string of beads used to keep count while reciting a mantra – something like “om” or “I am fulfilled.” Tibetan Buddhism, for example, uses malas of 108 beads when practicing yoga – and many of Sheehan’s necklace designs mirror that number.
Although her jewelry incorporates traditional aspects of yoga, Soulshine pieces are also beautifully crafted statement pieces that could just as easily be worn for a night out on the town. Many pieces feature sparkly elements, bright colors and even wow-worthy cuts of agate and quartz.
“I think what sets this jewelry apart is that it has traditional aspects and meaning, but you can wear them to yoga or out at night,” Sheehan says. “Most jewelry is one or the other.”
All of Sheehan’s jewelry is carefully handcrafted in St. Louis with high-quality gemstones and materials. The pieces range from earthy malas made with hand-carved sandalwood to modern interpretations of malas with Herkimer diamonds, which Sheehan says magnify the meaning of other gemstones. Her bracelets range from $28 to $65, depending on the resources used, and the necklaces range from $65 to $145. Sheehan initially started selling her bracelets at local Yoga Six studios and boutiques, and now they can be found at retailers across the country and online.
One of her best-sellers is a beaded bracelet called The Motherhood Mala. She designed the bracelet when she was pregnant with her daughter, crafting it with labradorite and rose quartz, which Sheehan claims can help cultivate maternal energy and unconditional love, while increasing energy levels and motherly intuition.
As she’s progressed in her jewelry-making, Sheehan has gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from her customers. Her customers have told Sheehan how meaningful the pieces are to them.
“My jewelry has brought people to tears because they’re so grateful to have that inspiration at a time in their life when they needed it the most,” Sheehan says. “I entered journalism because I knew how satisfying it would be to make an impact on peoples’ lives. To be able to make an impact in peoples’ lives by simply creating jewelry means a lot to me.”
Right now, Sheehan is taking a break from reporting to be at home with her 6-month-old, Juliet, and see where Soulshine takes her. She says she’s considering going back to TV but “wants to see where this goes.” Keeping her finger in the broadcast business, she also recently signed with local talent agency TalentPlus to do on-camera and corporate spokesperson work and lifestyle modeling.
“I feel fortunate to be able to explore this opportunity,” she says. “When you find something you’re passionate about, there’s this inner drive that keeps you going.”
This story was originally published at laduenews.com. Read it on LN’s website here.