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Lakewood woman who went blind 6 years ago, wins $15K from Amazon for jewelry business

Jennifer Stringer's world changed drastically back in 2014. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she launched a successful business.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — It was March 1, 2014, when Jennifer Stringer, a single mom from Lakewood, had her world turned upside down.

“I didn't think I had my glasses on. So I grabbed a pair that were in the kitchen. Then I went to put them on and they hit the glasses that I already had on," Jennifer said. "By the time I went to the emergency room, two or three hours, it was pitch black. I couldn't see anything.”

After being in the ICU for nine days, doctors discovered Jennifer was experiencing a rare side effect to psoriasis medication. 

“I was like, 'what am I going to do? How am I going to support my son and myself?'" Jennifer told us. “It was a huge shock. It was just terrifying.”

Her life was now in the dark. But, not her spirit.

“I did go through my grieving, 'poor me' stage with anger, but for me, I had to get up, dust myself off and figure things out," Jennifer said.

Over the next few months, some of Jennifer's vision returned. It's blurry, and she doesn't see color, but she remembers it deeply. Specifically, the beach glass of Lake Erie she admired as a young girl.

“I remembered that I had that jar of beach glass, and I remembered I had wire. I'm like, 'well, I'm just gonna play with this,'” Jennifer remembered.

Playing, it was not. Jennifer's will and graphic design background helped her to created jewelry line, Eyespire Designs.

Credit: Credit: Eyespire Designs
Lapis Lazuli Pendant from Eyespire Designs.

“I had to say no to my disability, basically. I wasn't going to let me let it hold me back. To me, that's not living," Jennifer said.

Soon, her gorgeous creations were being featured at trade shows and festivals. Then, came Etsy and social media. Her business took off.

“This year, with everyone shopping online, I've been busy and I've been blessed because of it," Jennifer explained.

Six years after going blind, Jennifer's burgeoning Eyespire Designs was one of five winners of Amazon's Handmade contest. She took home $15,000.

“I didn't even think that I was going to win. So, to say that I was shocked when I did, is an understatement," Jennifer said.

Her sight will never fully return, but she will always have a vision.

“You're stronger than you think. Don't give up, and don't focus on the anger. Don't get stuck in the cycle of pity. You have to get up and you have to do one day at a time and move forward," Jennifer said.

To visit Eyespire Designs, click HERE.

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