“It feels good to give, even if it’s just a little.”
Stephenie Bjorkman knows what it feels like to have her dreams funded. As a young girl, she grew up showing horses, and spent a good amount of time asking Fountain Hills business owners to sponsor her in various contests. Today, as the owner of Sami Fine Jewelry, she has an opportunity to give back to the very community that supported her not that long ago.
Stephanie said she relies on the Fountain Hills Community Foundation to distribute the money she donates to responsible nonprofit organizations.
“Every day we have three to four people who walk in asking for donations,” she said. “At some point you have to say, “I’ve already given to five other causes.” What I like about the Foundation is that it does the work and gives to nonprofit organizations who will spend the money wisely.”
Sami Fine Jewelry has been a Fountain Hills staple since 1987. Many long-time residents are well acquainted with Stephenie and her mom, Sami Jack, and the iconic, purple-themed custom jewelry store on Avenue of the Fountains. Nationally, they were voted one of America’s Top Five Cool Jewelry stores.
“We know we’re a little different,” Stephenie said. “Our environment is more fun and upbeat, and our jewelry isn’t typical.”
Although Sami retired in 2013, she is still actively involved in community events, including the Foundation’s Flutter at the Fountain. The fundraiser is a perfect way for the mother-daughter duo to support the community they both love so much while celebrating local artists’ interpretation of a very symbolic creature in their lives – the butterfly.
Sami lost a two-year-old daughter and sees her spirit when butterflies visit. After Sami’s breast cancer surgery, she and Stephenie got matching butterfly tattoos as a reminder that life is both fragile and transformative, a reflection, perhaps, of their philanthropic philosophy.
“It feels good to give, even if it’s a little bit, especially to those who appreciate it,” Stephenie explained. “That’s the way I grew up so I can’t imagine it being any other way.”