We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Ortega and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Danielle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My business first started as a creative medium to de-stress and switch my focus in the evenings. To be completely honest, I had experienced the loss of a pregnancy which my partner and I were hoping for. Any loss has a great impact and it hit me hard. I wanted to keep my mind and my hands busy. I make beautiful and affordable jewelry for hardworking women. I knew how many women, like me, were working themselves to break through the glass ceiling and trying to balance living their lives. Creating gems that could adorn their wearer became my focus while recovering from the loss of my baby. It took me several years to physically and emotionally heal. My business, Dee’s Gems thrived with a physical presence at craft fairs and on Etsy with thousands of sales. In March, as the pandemic really emerged in the US, I was surprised with a new gift. The creation of a new little life that thrived in me. Logan was born in November of last year a whole month ahead of schedule. My focus has shifted to him and I’m loving every moment.

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.
Being a maker is a lot of work! There’s often a demand for your creative energy to meet the demand of your constituents. Showcasing your art makes you vulnerable and you are judged in a different light. You need to move forward with a torch in hand ready to keep your flame going.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Santa Maria Valley is drop dead gorgeous. Traveling here, we would need to hit every vineyard in the AVA. First stop, Sunstone Winery then Riverbench and Rancho Sisquoc.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am in my life without the love and support of my partner, Danny.

Website: Etsy.com/shop/deesgems805

Instagram: @deesgems805

Linkedin: Www.linkedin.com/in/danielleqortega

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.