"To me, that question meant that my father was truly in the room."

Other than making jewelry, no time is better spent than interacting with my Junebug Tribe personally and sharing my passion for each design. And always, without fail, someone asks, “Where did the name ‘Junebug’ come from?”

I remember my time on the stage of Life’s A Pitch, the culminating event of MORTAR Cincinnati’s 12-week entrepreneurship class. I had just completed my pitch in front of the audience and judges without any hiccups, and was anxiously awaiting the questions that were up next. My biggest fear was that the judges would ask about the numbers, a topic that showcases all my insecurities. So, I was sweating when the first judge grabbed his microphone to ask the first question.

“So, where does the name ‘Junebug’ come from?”

It was such a relief, and here’s why.

Junebug is a nickname given to me by my father, the late August J. Grady and the most amazing man who ever entered my life. As a child, I heard that name all the time, and I was a very creative youngster.

I dabbled in everything, from drawing to poetry to crocheting with my fingers. My mother loves to remind me about the business venture I had in 4th grade selling ribbons made with my finger-crochet techniques.

So, fast-forward a few decades and I’m thinking about launching a jewelry business. No name seemed more appropriate than Junebug. Fortunately, my father was alive at the time my business launched, so he knows just how I adore the nickname.

But, in that moment on that stage during Life’s A Pitch when the question was asked, I couldn’t have been more elated to answer. To me, that question meant my father was truly in the room, smiling at me, proud of the pitch I had just made, and proud of the jewelry I had been creating. It helped ease the angst I was feeling not having him there in person. I really wanted to be able to look out at his super-proud face. My Pop was my greatest coach and my biggest fan. He knew how to build me up like no other. So, I really was craving his presence, and I GOT IT!

So, there you have it. Junebug is me. It’s my nickname given to me by my incomparable father. It conjures up periods of my life that helped shape my creativity. There truly is no better name to represent the wearable art I create.

My Dad's Favorite: The Innerjee Collection

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Dawn L. Grady is the designer and owner of Junebug Jewelry Designs, a unique line of jewelry that emphasizes the power and strength naturally inherent in every woman. Her handcrafted, wearable art statement pieces marry natural stones with copper and silver metal to deliver timeless pieces that are as bold as the women who wear them. She uses a variety of techniques – including metalsmithing, wire weaving and wire wrapping – to create pieces that truly speak for themselves and empower women to boldly rock their style.


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