Homegrown Jewelry fresh from the unconventional farm
j.Nic Designs came to be in 2006 when life for me was a lot different than it is now. I left my job as a General Manager for Gap Inc to be able to spend more time at my little farm & with my then husband. It was a drastic change as before I barely had a minute to sit down & now I suddenly had all this time on my hands.
I've always been an artistic person & technically began my jewelry making career back in high school in the late 80's. I guess I could say my true start was 4th grade when I weaved bracelets & necklaces from the lil' flowers in clover patches for my friends & teacher but since I didn't get paid we won't count that. I won awards for my work way back then & made jewelry for all the special events (proms, pageants, homecoming, etc) for the girls at school. My pieces were HUGE & loaded with rhinestones. Maybe I'll share some one day on social media ;).
So I took my newly found free time & started back my hand at crafting jewelry, although this time with an entirely different aesthetic. Since I no longer had an audience of hundreds of teenage girls to sell my work to I tried my hand at Ebay. I immediately received positive responses, sold just about every piece I listed & almost literally overnight j.Nic Designs was born. I then took my work to Etsy when the site was barely a few months old in 2006 & it just seemed we were a perfect fit for each other so I said goodbye to my shop & the auctions at Ebay. And I'd like to say the rest is history but that just isn't quite the case. The hubby & I decided to part ways in 2009 & that was a really tough time. I was sad, scared & worried about making it on my own. I debated long & hard about going back to work for Gap. No longer having health insurance or a steady paycheck to depend on was really scary. But I really loved what I was doing & it brought me happiness so to quote Tim Gunn I became determined to "make it work". I've set goals for myself along the way & I've managed to accomplish most of them - the latest being getting my own website up & running! If I could go back to the days of being able to afford to pay someone to cut my grass, buying the expensive coffee & having the brand new car I wouldn't do it. I'm much more satisfied & happier now cutting my own grass & drinking my cheap coffee. It's been a tough journey but well worth it.
(** Full disclosure - I do occasionally buy myself a treat of expensive coffee. Some things are hard to completely give up ;) )
A few technical details - I spent a week doing a metalsmithing workshop retreat at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. If you ever have the chance to take one of their courses I highly recommend it! I also took several metalsmithing courses through UGA's continuing education center & I've taught myself a lot along the way ;).
So now it's just me & all the critters doing what we love to do. Life isn't perfect & I doubt I'll get rich doing this but it makes me happy & I think that's what's important. And I like to think my work brings other people happiness.. I like to think I'm sending out little smiles (or big ones) with each package that goes out my door. And I sincerely thank each & every person who has supported my work in any way. I truly couldn't have done it without you! Wishing you much happiness too!
jenn & all the critters on the lil' farm =)
Weezie - CEO - what she says goes.
Denver - Security (rescued him from the euthanasia list at Barrow County Animal Control. He had been at the shelter for nearly 6 months & as they were overflowing with incoming dogs he was on his last day so I couldn't leave him there & hired him on as my security guard ;).
Squiggs - Creative Consultant (He was abandoned at a friend's house & was suppose to be a barn cat/rodent control but he does a much better job at being a creative consultant ;)
Golly - Quality Control (Not a rescue ;). I paid $20 for this nut in hopes that he could keep my other goose, who lost his mate, company.
Bonnie - Chief Executive Philosopher (a rescue from the GA Department of Agriculture)
Mandy - At 35 she's earned her retirement (we've been together for 30 years)
Molly - Creative Director (Another rescue from the GA Dept of Agriculture)
Hokie & Tristan - Managing Partners (I inherited these guys from a dear friend that passed away from cancer).