Rise N Shine inspiring people with jewelry

Published 10:12 pm Friday, August 13, 2021

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NATCHEZ — “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” — Isaiah 60:1

This scripture can be found mounted on the wall of the Rise N Shine Studio by Melissa Vaughan at 415 Main St., on her webpage and on her social media pages. Rise N Shine, which opened in March, takes its name from this scripture, with the “N” representing Natchez and the shape of the Mississippi River, Vaughan said.

“My dad sends me a bible verse every morning and will typically say ‘rise and shine’ or something inspirational with it. He has taught me that for years but I never really understood what the whole idea of ‘rise and shine’ meant. Then as I got older, I realized it meant sometimes you are going to have to rise above whatever is going on in your life and you’re going to have to shine, no matter what,” she said. “Making jewelry was something that came from me having to rise above some pretty adverse things in my life.”

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Vaughan describes herself as being highly spiritual without throwing her religion at others.

She plays music in her store and uses fragrances to help her customers feel welcome and comfortable. She grew up in a Baptist church and is now an active member of St. Mary Basilica.

Originally from Benton, Vaughan moved to Natchez in 2003.

She had another jewelry store before moving here and also worked and made jewelry at home and sold it online for approximately 26 years.

Her studio carries two lines of customized, handmade jewelry — one that inspires and uplifts the wearer and another with fine jewelry such as diamonds and pearls that allows them to shine and make a good impression.

People who are looking for a wedding or engagement ring for their special someone can customize the band and stone design, which is surprisingly more affordable than some premade designs, Vaughn said.

Using a magnetic kit, she easily swaps the band and stone designs so different combinations can be seen before the ring is made.

“Of course, the one we have made won’t be magnetic,” she said.

Some of Vaughan’s best-selling pieces are in her river collection. Each piece is bent into a unique shape meant to represent the way a river bends and curves as it winds its way from the source to the ocean. What makes these attractive necklaces, bracelets and anklets extra special is they are all made so that no two are exactly the same, she said.

“Like a river, we all follow our own path in life,” she said. “We have our twists and turns, rises and falls along our journey.”

The store also offers things that others make as well, Vaughn said.

“We have handmade jewelry, we have art, handmade candles, we have bath and body products — things that make people feel good.”

Those who shop at Rise N Shine can not only be uplifted by their purchase, but with the “10 for the Win” program, their purchase can also help put a smile on the face of someone else.

Vaughan, a former school teacher who taught at Cathedral and Vidalia Junior High, and her partner and fellow teacher Ronnie Calhoun, have dedicated a chunk of their time and earnings to help others.

“As a teacher I have taught so many students with mental health issues and students with physical disabilities, knowing that they have to rise above different things every day. Having the store, I wanted to do something. We give back 10% of our profits to help others in the community,” Vaughan said.

Calhoun said the 10% is put directly to programs they work hands-on with, such as the annual “Brightest Stars Ball” they put on each year for disabled youth.

“We don’t just give it to charity,” he said. “We are very involved with it.”

Vaughan’s business hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and by appointment for free, one-on-one consulting for weddings, engagements, anniversaries or special gifts just because. To request an appointment, email melissa@risenshinestudio.com.

While Vaughan loves to great people at her store, those who can’t visit her in person can also browse through her collection online at risenshinestudio.com.