From rocks and hard places, this Edmond family pieced together a new life by working together

Great State

EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – They come home to work – not their homes, but to an old house off Broadway in Edmond.

Inside a little bedroom turned workshop, Stephanie Carel, her sister Sondra Reid, and their mother Diana Pate work on turning hard things into shiny gems.

“It’s hard working together as a family,” admits Carel. “But for some reason it works with us.”

Working together is a beautiful situation for all of them.

But getting there wasn’t easy.

“If it gets too bad we lock the door,” laughs Pate.

In 1999 neither daughter was at all certain their mom would make it through an auto-pedestrian accident that left Diana with fifteen broken bones.

“It just took a long time laying there,” she says of her recovery. “Both arms were broken. I couldn’t feed myself or do much of anything.”

Stephanie recalls, “She was in Arkansas. I was here in Oklahoma and Sondra was in Colorado.”

Draw together and pick up the pieces, that’s what tight knit families do in response to crisis.

Again, “we were in Colorado,” explains Sondra, “and we just had to leave.”

As Diana slowly healed the sisters and their mother moved back to Edmond.

They had a bead store for a few years, then settled here, and concentrated on making jewelry, literally, assembling silver linings.

“We just kind of did it together and have been doing this ever since,” says Stephanie.

Silver Leaf Gems is the name of the business.

The old rooms are filled with light now, from both outside and from the gemstones inside.

It still feels like home to this family.

It’s a comfortable fit, carefully arranged, and better together than when they were apart.

“It’s been a blessing,” says Diana.

The store is getting ready to celebrate 20 years in Edmond as both bead store and, now, a jewelry store.

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union

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