If Stacie Hess reminds you of a real-life Disney princess, that’s probably because she kind of is. In a serious case of art imitating life, the Hawaiian-native landed a role in an original Disney movie about a surfer in Hawaii when she was just 14 years old, a role that you could say was always written in the stars…
These days Stacie is more comfortable behind the lens, combining her namesake jewellery label with her self-taught photography business – a combination that puts her creative prowess at the forefront of everything she does. How does she juggle the two? It’s all about scheduling and getting things done, fast. “When I have deadlines for jewellery and I’m travelling for my photography, I sit down with the calendar and map it all out… I’m very quick and precise when I shoot. I spent so many years in front of the camera and hated the 8+ hour long days to end up with five photos. It takes me a fraction of the time to get what I need in a shoot.”
We caught up with the gorgeous mama to Amelia to find out how her work and family life are inspired by her Hawaiian roots, how she’s navigating motherhood with a pre-teen and why Aussie label bassike is her ultimate pick when it comes to her jewellery line and personal style aesthetic.
Talk us through some vivid memories of your childhood...
Talk us through your earliest memories of being in front of the camera when you were 11. What do you love about modeling and what do you find challenging…
You were one of the original Disney movie girls. Can you tell us about that experience?
Did you always want to be a mother? And how has your daughter changed your life?
What kind of mother do you aspire to be? How would you describe your parenting style?
You’re a self-taught photographer. Talk us through a day on set with you – how you like to work?
Have you ever felt insecure and if so, how do you overcome these feelings?
In a selfie obsessed world, what will you teach your daughter about self-love?
What excites you about being a woman today?
Motto you live by?
What inspired the launch of your namesake jewellery line and how would you describe the aesthetic?
I’m obsessed with jewelry. Namely gold. And always have been since I was a child. In Hawaii, gold is very prevalent. We grow up with our fathers wearing gold chains and pendants and our mother’s arms jangling with Hawaiian bracelets. I grew up making jewelry – beads and wire and friendship bracelets. Basically, anything I could get my hands on. And when my daughter was a baby I took some metalsmithing courses but it just didn’t click at the time. My boyfriend had been telling me for years that I needed to create my own line because I literally dream in gold and diamonds. I was shooting lookbooks for a very dear friend of mine who makes the most amazing jewelry, Communion by Joy, and doing it on a trade basis as I didn’t want to charge her, as a friend. But by the third job together she said, “Look. You don’t need any more jewelry. You need to learn how to do this and create your own line.” She told me what tools to buy and I sat with her, eager to start the learning process and she says, “Actually, I’m a really bad teacher…..” So, again self-taught, I kinda just figured it out on my own.
As far as my aesthetic – just gold, gold, gold and diamonds. This line started out with one piece here, that I wanted for myself. And then another piece there, that I was craving to add to my everyday look… and it just grew from there. It’s a representation of who I am and what I love. I’m attached to the idea of jewelry being passed down from generation to generation. As a child, my mother’s jewelry box was filled with heirloom pieces that her grandmother brought over from Korea and as she remembers, never took off – and so my focus is in quality and durability. I want your pieces to last forever. I want you to pass your rings down to your children who will wear them as adults and then pass them on to their children. I believe that jewelry is meant to be worn and beaten up and become a part of you. I personally don’t take my pieces off; I wear them to sleep, in the shower, in the ocean, at the gym, diving off cliffs…