Community Spotlight: Jewellee Williams
This week we caught up with Jewellee Williams, the esthetician & business owner of our favorite Rittenhouse spa, Crown Jewel Esthetics. Scroll on to read our interview with her!
Who are you? Feel free to lay it all out here./
I always find the question "who am I" hard to answer, especially as of late. My name is Jewellee, that never changes, but who I am seems to evolve on a daily bases. I use the term evolve versus change because at my core I am still the same person but what seems to differ is my outlook on the world and my confidence levels. However if I had to describe myself in the short version I would say I am a daughter, I am a friend, I am a Black Cis Woman, I am a Queer, and I am light.
What is your origin story? Tell us about where and how you grew up. Are there details from your culture and upbringing that influence your work today?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, West Philly to be specific. I am the child of a woman who at 40 years old decided to take baby me in (by herself with a 17 year old daughter) because my birth mother was not fit to raise me. My upbringing was interesting to say the least, and honestly I could probably write a novel about my life experiences, but these days I feel most people share that sentiment.
I went to school on the mainline my entire life and attended the same, all-girls private school from 3rd grade through senior year. Growing up on the mainline was rough because everyday, at the end of the day, when I hopped on the train to go home, passing my classmates being picked up in Porsche's and Range rovers, I was reminded that I was not like them. Existing like this from 9 to 18 really gave me an interesting outlook on the world. The juxtaposition of where I was living and where I spent everyday at school was jarring to say the least. When I was at school I was looked at as the " poor city girl" and when I was home I was viewed as the "bougie white black girl" and on top of all that, struggling with my queer identity at a young age.
I NEVER fit in and that was a hard reality to swallow as a child with no ability to process why I couldn't live like my classmates, or why the kids in my neighborhood judged me so much. On top of that I was the baby in my family and the generation gap was apparent at every major milestone in my life. Having older parents definitely caused me to mature much faster than my peers. Often, I felt like no one understood me which led me to a life of insecurities and compromising my soul just to share spaces with people who never truly cared for me. I just kept my head down and did the work with the hope of one day creating a life for myself that I didn't have to try to "FIT IN" with.
Although this is just a small piece of my story, I feel it's important to share because who would have known existing in so many places where I didn't fit in would actually give me the tools I needed to fit in almost anywhere as an adult!
Where do you currently live? How does your community inform/influence your work?
I currently live in Center City Philly, right in the heart of it all and luckily only 2 blocks away from my business which makes the commute a breeze. I am inspired by the hustle and bustle of the city, it's always moving and so am I. Being from here I have always had a fast paced lifestyle and sort of always been in the know. I believe that seeing how businesses are ever changing and ever growing definitely motivates me to stay current and up to date with lots of trends, from decor to my service menu. I'm inspired by all of the small businesses I see popping up and I love being so close to them so we can network (or trade services haha).
What led you to begin your line of work and how long have you been doing it?
Honestly I fell into this line of work by chance! I used to be a flight attendant and decided not to return to that industry circa 2016. Then I took a part time job as a receptionist in a lash studio and before I knew it I was lashing with a full book and it kind of was just up from there! I have been in this industry going on 5 years now.
What words of advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur, artist, designer, healer, etc. that is wanting to get started?
Just do it! Seriously, I have no business background whatsoever! Luckily we live in the age of technology so everything you need to learn is a click away. I read lots of articles, attended webinars, truly worked on perfecting my craft, and networked every chance I got and here we are.
I opened my business in the middle of a pandemic when my industry was shut down for months. I had 3k and a dream (not even exaggerating), that was it, and now I have a Medspa in Rittenhouse. You have to be mentally strong and financially sound, so make sure you are taking care of yourself in all aspects because there will be lots of sleepless nights, mistakes, and straight failures. All that to say the key to getting started... is to START.
WHAT IS YOUR RITUAL? What do you incorporate in your day-to-day to help you feel more connected with yourself and business.
My nighttime skincare routine! Even when I have to force myself to do it, I know going to sleep looking like a glazed doughnut will make me feel better lol. Also, I kind of need to practice what I preach so it holds me accountable. Night time is the right time when it comes to skin care. Also just the act of cleansing off the day is a ritual in itself, but always double cleanse lol.
What is your favorite product or service you offer and what makes it so special to you?
I love facials, all of the facials I offer are truly tailored to each individual clients needs. I love helping people take care of themselves and their skin, and each service is truly a therapy session for both the client and myself. Connecting with people is human nature and I love being able to connect with so many amazing people everyday. Also, every client is different so I really get to challenge myself with each appointment, it keeps it very interesting.
Do you have any books, podcasts, or resources you want to recommend to the community?
I highly recommend "How I Built This" from NPR! Also Headspace! Sometimes I work out to Headspace haha
Feel free to shout out other creatives here! We love learning about other movers, makers, and shakers out there.
I have to shout out my girls Fursty and Vanessa who work with me here at Crown Jewel Esthetics. They are forces and are just coming into their greatness and building a brand for themselves. Its so amazing to be able to watch and support two other women on their journeys. Vanessa is an incredible esthetican and Fursty is a nail genius, they both are creatives in their own right and you have to check them out on Instagram @beautymarkedesthetics_ and @pepper.holidays.
We must know: what are some of your favorite products at Ritual Shoppe?
Did you love this interview with Philly business owner, Jewellee Williams? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you made it this far, we have a special treat for you! We're so excited to announce that we've teamed up with Crown Jewel Esthetics to offer our Ritual readers 10% off your next purchase at their spa, just mention this promo next time you schedule a service or make a purchase!