Staci Phebus found her passion in 1998, when she took her first jewelry design course with renowned metalsmith Bob Ebendorf at East Carolina University School of Art & Design. During her sophomore year, a potter friend encouraged her to sign up for a beginning metals course. She soon found the process of metalworking to be captivating, challenging, and even gratifying, if things went well. Metals - seemingly cold, hard materials could be formed, pierced, forged, melted, and manipulated. Staci found the variety of techniques mind-blowing. She shifted her course of study from painting and went on to earn a BFA with a Metal Design concentration in 2002. After many years of making jewelry as a hobby, she started Juniper Bay Metals as a part-time project, then took the leap to creating her wearable art as a full-time endeavor in 2018.