“Do something you love…”

Phyllis People 9 Comments

I absolutely love when people use their creative talents to elevate something so simple. Many of you requested more posts about female artists, so this is a story from Victoria magazine that I am thrilled to share with you today!

Donna Stevens’s dazzling range of ribbons has been bringing touches of glamour to home décor since 2008, when, along with her sister and brother-in-law, Darlene and Ron Summers, she launched her eponymously named company. Although this is not her first venture—Donna owned retail florist shops in both Texas and her native Louisiana—D. Stevens Fine Ribbons has earned her an impressive and loyal following among women who affectionately refer to themselves as ribbon snobs.

“The ribbons I’d seen on the market made me feel they could be so much more,” says the entrepreneur. “By using quality textiles, even luxurious ones, I could see how ribbon could go from being just a trim to becoming the main attraction.” Whether made from jewel-edged velvet, Fortuny-inspired silk, or tiny-checked taffeta, her illustrious inventory makes ordinary packages works of art and simple wreaths eye-catching displays.

D. Steven's Fine Ribbons

Donna personally selects and designs the ribbon and other items for the enterprise’s offerings, which have now expanded to include other textiles, ornaments, jewelry, and novelty items. Most of the fabrics are sourced in Asia. While there on her frequent trips, she uses Hong Kong as a base and lives on a boat, as do many of the local residents.

When asked what distinguishes D. Stevens’s wares, Donna believes it’s the attention to detail. “We change our lines every year, and we are always thinking of ways to be different,” she explains. “I search for fabrics that are exclusive to us—they really define us and our original vision of bringing ribbons to center stage.” The company also themes its assortments, with staples such as velvets, taffetas, and plaids that can be mixed across collections to create a personalized style.

With a dedicated staff handling the company’s ever-growing empire, Donna shines as an example of woman entrepreneurship at its best. For those who aspire to follow her lead, she offers a bit of sage advice: “Do something you love because you have to work hard and give up a lot to have a successful business. But also, have fun along the way.”

This story is from a special section in Victoria magazine’s Jan/Feb 2019 issue that celebrates that talents and accomplishments of seven incredible businesswomen. To see the entire feature take a look at this issue HERE!

Is there a form of art that you love to practice in your spare time?

Comments 9

  1. The ribbons are beautiful!! I’m saving my March/April Victoria for this weekend at the cabin with no distractions, because I love to devour it from cover to cover.
    I have so many “art projects” that get my creative juices going……gardening, floral arranging, watercolor, setting my dining table for the seasons, and many more. I think that may be one of the reasons why I enjoy Victoria so much. It makes me smile and fills me with so many more ideas. Thank you!!

  2. Sorry Phyllis meant to also comment on todays post. Lovely ribbons…my mom taught me so much about beautiful ribbons as she gingerly kept so many tucked just so in beautiful boxes. I LOVE Hoffman media and all your wonderful publications. Im a southern girl at heart…even though today my home is surrounded by an endless snow storm in Minnesota

  3. AMEN. Can’t agree with you more. At 66 I was told my senior year of high school that we would have an overabundance of home ec teachers in four years and besides I would be married by the time I was 21 and starting a family. Well, I got married at 35 and have two sons…last baby at 41.

    I realize a lot of this is a sign of the times…but I wish I would have pursued becoming a home economist. I’m still happy with my career history as I took my self starter attitude and great business skills and went on to have a successful career.

  4. I love their ribbons! Donna is absolutely right when she says “it’s the attention to details” that makes her ribbons stand out. I am always in love with their range at market…getting to know the woman behind the business is a treat. Thank you for sharing women entrepreneurs, as one myself, I truly enjoy the stories you share in Victoria behind each business. xo

  5. I wish we told girls more that they have talents to use for great purpose rather than “do what you love.” I think while on the one hand that is good advice, on the other hand it is part of the attitude that keeps girls from understanding they can excel in the science, engineering and technical world.

    Have a hobby, do what you love, and have the funds to do that and help support a family by excelling in a skill or talent for problem solving you have. A girl might well be the one to make the greatest contributions, if she believes she can do it.

    Not taking issue with “do what you love” so much as promoting “YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE!” to our girls and young women. Why not feature engineers, geologists, and other Southern Ladies who have style and technical careers in your magazine? They are Southern Ladies as well! And I’m darned proud of them!

  6. Phyllis, thank you for highlighting Ms. Steven’s company and beautiful line of ribbons. I have found a new resource today, thanks to you. Though I do not carry the title of “ribbon snob” (yet!), I can see how quickly I would be persuaded to do so after learning about her gorgeous line. Thank you Phyllis! As always, showcasing the best of what it means to be a Southern Lady!

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