We had the good fortune of connecting with Summer Jones-Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Summer, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
The one piece of conventional advice that I disagree with would be you have to go to college to be successful. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in higher education. However, I don’t agree that someone’s success is based on having a degree. We are taught as children to get good grades so you can attend a good college and get a good job. That’s right, get a good job working for someone else! We are actually taught to be worker bees, not entrepreneurs! Pigeonholed into thinking that college is the only way. There are many dirt roads, walking trails, back alleyways, side streets and highways that lead us to being SUCCESSFUL.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been pretty creative. Even during my career in the Navy, I would always find a way to be an individual in my group. During my last term in the Navy, I got overwhelmed with figuring out my next chapter in life. “What do I do now?” ” Where do go?” “Will I be ok?” etc. I needed an outlet to calm my mind. So I started making jewelry as a hobby. I wanted to make my own accessories like bracelets, earrings, and etc. Something to allow me to express my creativity without any thought. I could just let go and be free. Well that hobby quickly became an obsession. In less than a year, I had two new start up businesses because of it, J.W. Summers Designs and Round of Applause Competition Jewelry. With J.W. Summers Designs, I get to express my individuality through creating one of kind custom pieces. I could just look at beads and immediately come up with multiple ideas of some form of accessory. Through Round of Applause, I’m allowed to express my individuality by assisting Bikini, Figure, Wellness, Physique and Body Building athletes achieve a unique look. One that makes them stand-out on a stage full of beautiful women! I must say that it was not easy. Owning and operating your own business is far from easy. I’ve had to learn things I didn’t want to learn, do things I didn’t want to do, just so I could be successful in business. However, running your own business is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would own my own business. Now I have two! Being a business owner, functioning in my passion, I have learned to appreciate hard work. I have learned that when my career is my passion, it often times doesn’t feel like work, its actually fun! I have also learned that I can also be a vessel to other new aspiring entrepreneurs by sharing my journey. By encourage them to believe in themselves and to take that leap of faith. I guess the message I would like my brand to convey, my story to project would be, ” You only live life once, so learn to be happy through being your authentic you. Embrace your own individuality and thrive in it.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not going to lie, my best friend and I would probably hit all the craft stores in the San Diego area. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow! There are so many people that come to mind. First and foremost, I want to thank God for the gift of creativity and also for placing my #1 supporter in my life! That would be my wonderful husband, Richard Williams. Richard has been a driving force in pushing me beyond my comfort level and stepping out on faith to make my visions a reality. He encourages me every day to dream bigger than I did the day before…and for that, I love him even more. I would also like to shoutout my best friend for over 20 plus years, Antoinette Crutchfield-Bracey. Toni is my sounding board and my rock. She lets me know when I’m right and when I’m wronger than two left feet! lol. She definitely keeps me grounded and humble. And last but not least, my family at The Gym San Diego. When I decided to take the leap of faith to start my own business, the owner, Rick Stephenson, not only cheered me on but also allowed me to setup my first jewelry table smack dab in the middle of his gym floor! I guess you could say it’s the birthplace for Round of Applause Competition Jewelry. This gym is also the where I was introduced to my beautiful friend, Julie Pitois. Julie is the type of person that would give you the shirt off of her own back. She has always rooted me on and even encouraged me to expand and open my storefront. An absolute blessing.