“It started off as a tiny idea. I knew I wanted to have my own store or boutique,” she said. “ I was inspired by my husband who’s following his dreams and working as a musician. We were having a conversation and he said, ‘Why don’t you just take the steps to do it?’”
With gathered pieces from New York, Los Angeles, Canada and London amongst other places, Whalum offers jewelry and accessories that are hard to come by. When selecting independent designers Whalum says she looks for those whose missions correlate with hers.
Early on — by word of mouth — STONEnyc’s popularity grew quickly. Surprised by the recognition the online business was gaining, Whalum furthered the momentum by linking up with Love Publicity, successfully building an Internet buzz. Mentioning STONEnyc at events and within fashion circles, Whalum’s boutique eventually caught the eye of a few notable celebrities. Beyonce, Michelle Williams, Monica and Erykah Badu have all frequented the boutique’s collections.
“I love the venetian bead fringe necklace. It’s woven fabric but it looks like hair. It’s definitely a statement piece. It has a beautiful fringe pattern that hangs down. It’s in style right now, however it’s one of those pieces that have been around. You can wear it during the day and throw on a t-shirt or at night with a nice dress,” said Whalum speaking about her favorite accessory.
“I’ve always had a fascination for jewelry and accessories. It started with my grandmother and my mom. They were very fashionable women. I remember rambling through their drawers and sneaking to wear stuff to school. I’ve always been attracted to the pretty things like glitzy jewelry.”
Unlike most online consumers, STONEnyc’s customers often experience just how glitzy the accessories are. As a way to both lure potential customers online and exercise her marketing skill-set, Whalum opens pop-up shops in New York City on occasion.