Dora Jean

I’m originally from Charleston, SC, but about six years ago, I mentioned needing a change to a friend. He said I should move to Asheville. Two weeks later I was seeing the mountains for the first time and signing a contract for my new apartment. It was off and on, between here and there for a while, but I suppose Asheville is stuck with me for the next long while.

I love swing dancing, which I've done for about 10 years now. It all started because I got asked on a date but my date never showed. I stuck around, took the lesson, and I’ve been doing it socially and professionally ever since.

I also love to garden. I’ve been learning homesteading and foraging and herbal medicine. I also enjoy making gold leaf and cyanotype prints of nature. But at my absolute base human being…I am a nerd that plays video games, cosplays, and snuggles with my cats.

When not making SoulKu jewelry, I also make my own jewelry, mainly focusing on vintage styles and intricate weaving patterns.


I like working somewhere that is supportive and focuses on being uplifting. While I do consider myself non-binary, and am working in a woman-owned and women-run business, I have found no awkwardness in who I am as a person, and no sense of negativity or unwelcome feelings. The kindness extended from the start of working at SoulKu, of respecting who I am, has been very warm. And everyone’s full-bodied and -brained attempts to understand and accept a change has been heartwarming.


The Moon & Back Collection is one of my favorites to make, especially in the Black Onyx. I’ve always felt very connected to the moon in many ways, and seen her as Mom—always present, watchful, comforting, and changing but staying the same. I love how Black Onyx channels and supports protection and stability, because that is something that we all seek and search for throughout our lives. An unchanging, calming, and ever-present force is what every child (and grown adult) seeks in this world and a reminder of that is like a constant hug from your Mom.

When things got too much to deal with, and I couldn’t afford therapy, I would go to the beach at night in Charleston with a bottle of wine and yell at the moon. That I was doing my best, that things weren’t fair, that everything was going wrong, and I needed someone to take all of that anger and sadness from me because I couldn’t hold it anymore. And she took it, and she always came back the next night, and she was always there when no one else was.

Also the “To The Moon” is game a video game I love about a husband dealing with his wife’s Alzheimer’s and mental illness, which hits me hard because my mom has Alzheimer’s. Playing it truly made me cry because I felt seen as both my mother and myself. I highly recommend it, even for people who don’t play video games normally. It hit in every right and wrong way.

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