Crafting a Beautiful Legacy: Custom Jewelry and Art Icon Celebrates 15 Years

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Spectrum Art & Jewelry reaches new milestone in their journey, thriving despite many challenges

The message for several years now has been about the death of the small business. But we all can grow even in the worst circumstances.

In an unstable economy where many small businesses find themselves crumbling under fiscal pressure, today’s entrepreneurs rarely utter the words “hope” and “inspiration” when staring out over the rubble.

However, Spectrum Art and Jewelry – located in coastal North Carolina – celebrated its 15th year this spring shouting these two terms in bold chorus.

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in news about small business failure… it’s been everywhere these past three years,” said Star Sosa, owner of the custom jewelry design studio and art gallery. “If you’re going to buck the trend and succeed, you better view things through different eyes.”

Sosa launched her retail business in 1997. At the time, she was a self-made businesswoman entering a highly-competitive, niche market. From the beginning, she rooted her entrepreneurial spirit – and award-winning creations – in hope and inspiration.

One-and-a-half decades later, Spectrum continues to draw national attention using this very simple model. The business has won honors from a number of major organizations, including recognition as a Top Retailer of American Craft, Best Website, a Spectrum Award from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and a Vision Award from the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America (MGSA). Due to these and earlier career awards garnered by both Sosa and members of her design team, Spectrum is one of the most award-winning jewelry studios in the Southeast.

“It’s time we start talking about success again in this country,” Sosa said. “It’s not all just bad news. There are small businesses – and especially jewelry stores – struggling all over the country. The message for several years now has been about the death of the small business. But we all can grow even in the worst circumstances. Spectrum is here today because of a little perseverance, risk taking and a lot of creativity. ”

Despite her positivity, Sosa still admits that building a reputation as one of the premier jewelry studios and art galleries on the East Coast didn’t come without some trials.

“Life as a small business owner is always challenging,” Sosa said. “Since opening Spectrum I have experienced eight hurricanes, the tragedy of 9/11, a three-year road construction project out my front doors, two moves, a volatile precious metals market, and the most significant economic downturn in my generation.”

Sosa’s answer to the turmoil: optimism and creativity. Throughout the hurdles, she continued to build the studio and gallery, hiring new team members along the way. In fact, two of her most recent staff members, both highly talented jewelry professionals, came to Spectrum as the result of a shaky job market. She was prepared to embrace them as part of the Spectrum team, significantly expanding the skill sets available to the business.

“There were definitely times over the years that I looked at the calendar and counted down the weeks until my resources would potentially run out,” she said. “However, each time I choose to be proactive, take a risk and the situations turned around. Both Spectrum and I, personally, emerged stronger and more resilient. These results aren’t exclusive to us… it just comes back to vivid concepts: hope and inspiration and just sometimes, a leap of faith.”


Spectrum Art & Jewelry is an award-winning jewelry design studio and art gallery that specializes in custom jewelry design, from concept to creation. They also represent nationally recognized jewelry artists such as Mark Schneider, Barbara Heinrich and Patricia Daunis. Spectrum Art & Jewelry is located at The Forum on Military Cutoff Road in Wilmington, North Carolina, on-line at and on Facebook at The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and hosts free monthly events with featured artists, refreshments and live music.

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Hilary Brady
Bons Eye Marketing
(910) 399-2700
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