Ashley Jung and Paige Dellavalle, Co-Founders, Stella Valle.
Strength and beauty. The two aren’t mutually exclusive as sisters and stella valle co-founders Ashley Jung and Paige Dellavalle prove. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, the enterprising duo sought to build a creative and exciting life for themselves outside the world of combat and fatigues. They soon realized that their extensive mechanical training and technical knowledge could be applied to jewelry design and in 2009 they launched their glittering collection of baubles. Their aesthetic is a bold interplay of masculine and feminine – think hard lines and edgy spikes accented with dazzling crystals in a rainbow of pretty hues. We recently caught up with Jung and Dellavalle to discuss some of their top habits, from the importance of hard work to the pitfalls of dark chocolate.
What’s the one habit you have that changed your life for the better?
Hard work! We grew up as competitive swimmers. Swimming is one of the most demanding sports. Even though we hated early mornings, we were up before school for practice and then we were back in the pool afterwards. The training was grueling, but our discipline and hard work paid off with free college educations. The discipline we learned as competitive swimmers also prepared us for the hard work that was required at West Point and in the Army. In creating and starting our brand our “hard work habit” has been essential to our success! Almost nothing good, comes without sacrifice, dedication and hard work–it makes everything that much sweeter!
What’s the one habit you have that’s not so great?
We talk to each other on the phone about 5-8 times a day. We chalk it up to “taking care of business,” but our husband and boyfriend get really annoyed with our around the clock discussions! We will admit that we are a little bit addicted to building our brand!
What’s your naughtiest habit?
We love junk food! We grew up eating pizza every Friday night with our family. We also love sour candies and dark chocolate. We workout extra hard to keep off any extra pounds from the junk food.
What’s your secret (or not-so) style habit?
We are bargain shoppers so we love to shop on sample sale sites, like MyHabit, and at stores that sell clothes at discounts. We are definitely not name brand junkies. We love finding an adorable dress by an emerging designer or not-so name brand. We are firm believers that style is about confidence in yourself and what you are wearing, not who you are wearing.
What’s a habit you wish you had?
We wish we had the time to get into relaxation exercise, like yoga or meditation. We are constantly on the go, trying to run every aspect of our business, from designing to sales to PR to manufacturing. Sometimes it is difficult for us to find time to relax with our crazy schedules, but we know it is super important to recharge your batteries every once in awhile. We probably need to invest in some yoga mats for our offices!
What three habits should every woman should adopt? What three habits should every woman break?
1. Goal setting and self-reflection – Set aspirational goals, create a plan to achieve them, revisit them often to understand what you can do to improve and don’t forget to treat yourself (to perhaps a new stella valle piece) if you’ve achieved one of your goals.
2. Being Confident – If you don’t love yourself, no one else will either. Confidence makes you so much more beautiful.
3. An addiction to stella valle jewelry – Every women needs at least a few pieces!
1. Smoking – It is so horrible for your health, skin, teeth, nails and breath!
2. Tanning – We all love a nice sun-kissed glow, but skin damage and melanoma are no joke. We love bronzers and good self tanners!
3. Making excuses – We believe in making it happen!