The stôn team is comprised of artists, storytellers, wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters who understand and remain devoted to the act of creating new things. They are keenly aware of their shared passions and are enamored with the fact that each collaborator brings a unique and vital facet to stôn.
Latondra, affectionately known as "Ton" to most, is the owner, designer and artistic driving force of stôn. Her organic design aesthetic is evident in each piece. We sat down with Ton over a glass of wine to ask her about her creative process, her heart wishes, and what stirs her through this beautiful journey called life.
What is the inspiration behind the creation of stôn?
I have always dabbled in artistic pursuits – painting, photography, making textiles – but making jewelry captured me like nothing else. The new ideas in my brain outpace my ability to create because I’m inspired by so much around me – especially nature and the amazing women I know or want to know. It was a big “aha” moment for me when I realized it was OK to celebrate being more than one thing, that I could make a mark as a corporate executive AND put things of beauty into the world. It only took me several decades to get here!
What is your creative process like?
I sketch continuously. I carry notebooks with me everywhere and jot ideas down as they come. I even sleep with a notebook on my nightstand in case an idea comes in a dream (which happens often, to the chagrin of my sleeping husband). Then I spend time carving or molding the wax that will eventually become a piece of precious metal. The carvings sometimes depart from the original sketches and sometimes stay true to them. I find that I reject more designs than I adopt, but it never discourages me. It’s just a part of the process.
When do you feel most inspired?
For me, gratitude and inspiration go together. I find that I’m more creative when I’m really aware of my blessings. Also, being in nature and hearing people’s stories often trigger ideas.
What do you want the wearer of your jewelry to feel?
I always imagine someone taking home a piece of stôn and feeling empowered when they put it on. There is something ritualistic about adorning oneself with jewelry, and I make things with heft and presence because I want it to remind the wearer of her/his own strength. Confession: it might have something to do with my obsession with Wonder Woman and her cuff bracelets.
Why was it important to create a team comprised of women?
One our company ethos, along with respect, excellence and fun, is to empower women. All of my collaborators are women, and most of people who helped me bring stôn to life are women (and I love them all ferociously!). I’m deliberate about this because I think women represent an under-tapped creative resource in our economy, and the idea of talent disregarded is a tragedy. I also think that women know best what women want to wear. While I’m proud of the designs we offer men, I know women will represent the majority of our clients. When we support each other, great things can happen.