We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Wong Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My business started out as a creative outlet while studying for my Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2015. I focused more on wirework and gemstone jewelry back then but found that my classmates and professors really loved my work! I would sell a few pieces here and there but didn’t really go full-fledged into a business except registering my business name. In 2017, I was a year into my occupational therapy career at a Level 1 Trauma hospital and needed a cute badge holder because my standard hospital logo one fell apart. I did some online searching but couldn’t find one I liked, so I decided to make one. I had also just started learning hand embroidering and the two just came together. I sold my first badge to a coworker two weeks after I made mine and have been creating and selling my hand embroidered collection ever since. Philanthropy and community building is really important to me. I landed my dream job as a pediatric occupational therapist, working in a Level IV Neonatal ICU and love how much Ronald McDonald House supports families during their hospital stay. I knew that once I reopened my online shop in 2020 that I would give back a portion of each purchase to this amazing organization in support of their mission.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of the comments I most often get is that my hand embroidered jewelry is dainty yet detailed. My jewelry pieces are the tiniest creations, most smaller than a dime, but I love creating them because it is so easy for daily wear. It took me a lot of time and research to put together the right components and also time and eye strain to embroider too! However, I’m so proud and grateful when people tell me how much they appreciate my one-of-a-kind tiny works of wearable art!
As a creative entrepreneur, it is easy to fall prey to “imposter syndrome”. At first when I was learning hand embroidery, I tried to emulate the things I would see other hand embroiderers do including large hoop designs with names and flower bouquets. As I honed my embroidery skills, I realized that these larger creations were not for me because it just didn’t feel like “me”. I didn’t feel like they were the best in comparison to other embroidery artists and I also didn’t enjoy making them. I found my niche and my passion when I launched my Mini Necklaces and Bracelets collections, but I wouldn’t trade the learning experience for anything.
Little Love Parcels is a one-woman handmade shop and the business name comes from a love I have of stationery and gift boxes. I really enjoy sending out my creations to people who may even gift it to their loved ones. On top of that, a portion of each purchase is dedicated to supporting families with children undergoing lifesaving medical treatment in the Texas Medical Center through Ronald McDonald House Houston.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My family and I are vegetarian, nearly vegan at this point without dairy, and there are quite a few veggie spots that we absolutely love! The best restaurants that come to mind are Chef Kenny’s, Verdine, and Veegos. There are many others, but we keep coming back to these three! My husband and I love the Theater District and go to a show every year, although this past year was virtually! The Alley Theatre is our absolute favorite and we always enjoyed their Summer Chills Series.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family deserves more than just a little credit! My mom and my husband have been super supportive of my creative business and are by my side whenever I have a booth at craft markets. On nights when I’m seriously burning the midnight oil, my husband will stay up with me even when it’s 2 a.m. before a market! I’ve learned that their love is more precious to me and that the time I spend with them while also building a handmade business is priceless. I couldn’t be more lucky in my journey.
Alonso & Stephanie Wong Martinez