Where Are They Now? | May 2023 | By Ashley Butler
Meet Kaycie Jones,
Former Spanish Fork FFA member, 2018-2019 State FFA Treasurer, and 2019 National FFA officer candidate for Utah. She now works as a Research Services Solutions Specialist for Qualtrics, and runs her own business, ‘Circle J Rings’.
Kaycie grew up in the suburbs, with no real tie to agriculture, so it wasn’t until her older brother came home from school one day saying that he was going to join FFA, and show a pig at the livestock show that she even heard about the FFA. Although she thought he was crazy at first, once she saw the friendships that he quickly made through the organization, she knew she wanted to be a part of it too!
Kaycie says she ran for state office her senior year because of the impact that past state officers had on her. They helped her find her place in the FFA, and she wanted the opportunity to do that for other members too!
Being elected as the State FFA Treasurer in 2018-2019, Kacie received that opportunity and spent the next year serving the Utah FFA Association, getting to know members all over the state and having a “one of a kind experience”.
So how did ‘Circle J Rings’ come to be?
As Kaycie likes to put it, “It was my covid hobby that quickly turned into a business.”
After finishing her year as a State Officer, she was looking for something to keep her busy before going to college. As someone who had always loved wearing jewelry, Kaycie had a collection of spoon rings that were her favorite, but since she was only working part-time before starting her education at SUU, spending money on jewelry wasn’t a luxury she could afford, so she taught herself how to make spoon rings. This resulted in many trips to antique stores and purchases made by family and friends.
Fast forward to when Covid hit in March of 2020, and Kaycie moved back home from school and was trying to find a way to make an income. By this time, the interest in her spoon rings had grown quite a bit, but she wanted to find a way to set herself apart from others. Inspired by her recent interest in turquoise jewelry, she used her last paycheck on silversmithing supplies, and taught herself the art!
What started out as selling to mostly family and friends, quickly gained traction once she started sharing her progress on social media. Over the last 3 years, she’s been able to grow her business, and now has a full e-commerce website, and supplies jewelry to several boutiques around the state!
While running her own business is not always easy, especially when she’s also working full time as a Research Services Solutions Specialist, Kaycie says it’s also very rewarding! She self-taught herself nearly every aspect of the business; from the actual silversmithing, to building a website, photography and taxes.
“Being an entrepreneur, I have learned that with the right motivation, I can get creative and I can do anything I set my mind to!”
Kaycie says she loves being able to put her creativity into creating beautiful pieces of jewelry. Even better though, is when a customer purchases one of her pieces that then becomes a staple in their everyday attire; there isn’t a better feeling!
As someone who works with people/customers everyday in both her career and her business, Kaycie says she’s thankful to her advisors for pushing her out of her comfort zone and providing her with experiences that allowed her to develop communication skills and learn more about sales.
Some of those experiences included interacting with customers and helping manage their chapter greenhouse and monthly floral arrangement sales, as well as the Farmers Market Stand.
“I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, as a young high school student, talking/communicating with adults was very intimidating and very out of my comfort zone.”
Kaycie says that having the opportunity to develop skills such as leadership, public speaking, communication, and teamwork so young, is something she truly believes has helped to set her up for success in her career and her life.
When asked what advice she would give a high school student that is thinking about joining FFA, she said,
“If you're thinking about joining FFA, without hesitation, you should do it! Whether you plan to serve on the officer team, participate in contests, or you simply want to take an ag science class, there's no reason not to join FFA. Regardless of your background, your knowledge level, or your life goals, there is a place for you within the national FFA organization and there are lessons/skills you will learn that will carry on into your life beyond high school.”
When asked what advice she would give a student that is thinking about starting their own business now, or after high school, she said,
“If you have an idea or a talent/skill that you want to share with the world, go for it! Even if you feel like your idea/talent/skill isn’t good enough, there is never harm in trying!”