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.
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!