Elaine Stathakis

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Meet the Merchants of Flagler Avenue

Meet Elaine Stathakis

If you were to ask anyone who knows Elaine Stathakis what she is like, you would get a similar answer every time. She has a huge heart, is wildly creative and passionate, and accepting of everyone. She has amassed a vast collection of friends in the town of New Smyrna Beach since she moved here from California 16 years ago. Her social circle includes people from all walks of life. She has the unique ability to bring out the best in everyone, and find what we all have in common. Her upbeat, positive attitude is contagious. If you are feeling down, she can pull you out of it with her bubbly personality and down-to-earth perspective. She is a treasure to all who have the good fortune to spend time with her. If you are lucky you can catch her at her shop, Clean Karma Jewelry.

Tucked away in a quaint little courtyard off of Flagler Avenue, the store is filled with an assortment of unique necklaces, rings, earrings, handbags, soaps and trinkets. You won’t find two items exactly the same, as they are all meticulously handmade. You also won’t find pieces such as these anywhere else in the world. Eighty percent of the collection is visualized, designed and created from quality materials by Elaine and her mother, Joan Stathakis-Ele. Always Elaine’s biggest source of encouragement, Joan played a big role in bringing Clean Karma Jewelry into reality. An avid jeweler and crafter herself, she provided all the materials that Elaine would need to launch her business. It was she who knew exactly what would inspire the creativity to flow; a nice workbench, the right tools for intricate designs and more. Now, Joan contributes to the store’s selection of beautiful objects even though she is across the country, back in California. Elaine feels like her mother is right there in the store with her, and regularly sends her photos of customers posing with one of her creations that they have purchased.

Elaine’s journey on Flagler avenue began as an owner at the popular locals hangout, OM Bar. A longtime fixture on the street, the lounge offered a relaxed vibe and awesome live music. Elaine spent a lot of time there, interacting with hundreds of patrons day in and day out. While she loved spending time with her guests, she also found herself needing an outlet to decompress. This is when she began making jewelry in her downtime. She found the process cathartic, in that she could kind-of zone out for a few hours and just focus on what she was doing. The therapeutic hobby provided a nice addition to the bar, in the form of a large display cabinet placed where patrons could browse the jewelry while standing at the jukebox – or watching the band. It wasn’t long before Elaine’s signature style gained a following. 14 years later, Elaine has retained beloved customers who bought their first pieces from this cabinet and now visit her shop regularly.

With a rich appreciation for art history, Elaine has traveled to Italy to visit museums and churches. She has spent many hours studying paintings and artifacts of the past. Her favorite relics are those that draw inspiration from nature. Adding her own imaginative and dreamlike vision, she infuses her pieces with natural elements like rough stones and asymmetrical pearls. Her style can best be defined as bohemian with a touch of renaissance. Elaine uses a kaleidoscope of different colors of precious and semi precious stones, pearls, and metals to make her jewelry. Her favorite designs are those that incorporate elements of mystical beings such as unicorns and mermaids. A line of jewelry that she refers to as “the last unicorn,” includes the horns of the mythical creatures into each piece. Another collection is based around mermaid tails, combining the shiny silver fins with pearls and gemstones. For Elaine, these types of whimsical themes represent faith – encouraging people to retain a sense of innocence and trust, and to see every day as brand new.

This sense of optimism for the future guides Elaine in pursuing her goals. She strives to follow in the footsteps of what she refers to as “an amazing tribe of women” who have come before her in owning businesses on the famed Flagler Avenue. She calls her fellow merchants along the street family, and she knows first-hand how important each of their shops are. Their businesses are their dreams that they’ve poured their heart into. Moving forward, Elaine hopes to continue to broaden her selection of goods. She’ll keep adding new, interesting and beautiful items for her guests to choose from. She also plans to stay involved in the community – supporting local breast cancer, lupus, and childrens’ charities that she’s been a part of over the years. She is perfectly content with her busy, oftentimes demanding life that she’s built. Even as she balances her position as Director of Marketing and Events at the nearby Flagler Tavern with her own business – and then stays up until 4am making jewelry with one of her three rescue cats curled on her lap – she wouldn’t have it any other way. So stop in and meet Elaine on Flagler Avenue, you’ll be glad you did.