July 13, 2009

In{her}view with Jess of Jess L.C,

I'm so excited to have jewelry designer and entrepreneur, Jessica Constable as Plush Palate's In{her}view guest today! When I first saw one of Jess LC's necklaces - the Astor St. Cluster Bib necklace in coral - I was so impressed by the simple sophistication of the design and gorgeous color, that I just had to find out more! It turns out that at the young age of 25, Jess is an intelligent business owner and entrepreneur whose brand is carried in over 100 stores across the country, with online customers worldwide! Let's hear how she got there, one jewelry piece at a time!

Plush Palate: You've got a pretty impressive entrepreneurial background; can you tell us how Jess L.C. began?
Jess L.C.: Really, the business was born when I was making (ugly!) ankle bracelets for myself at a pool. Some (tipsy) women came up and asked if I would make them some as well. I spent the rest of the afternoon making ankle bracelets and got a whopping $30 at the end of the day. After that I thought to myself, "I can do this." And the rest is history. I started to teach myself how to do other designs and experimented with better materials and kept showing people the work and they kept buying it...for about $10. But hey, learning, growing, and failing, taught me a lot about growing a business and now I'm doing it full-time.

PP: Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
JLC: I find inspiration all over the place. I am a huge interior design nut so my latest collection, Astor St., uses howlite, which looks like white marble. White marble happens to also be in my dream kitchen. Otherwise, I experiment with the shapes and make sure everything looks "naturally graceful," which has become my motto. 
PP: Best seller at Jess L.C.?
JLC: There are a few strong pieces I would have to mention including the Lucky In Bed necklace, Simple Armitage earrings, and the Rush St. Layering necklace.

PP: If you weren't taking over the jewelry scene, what would you be doing?
JLC: Either an interior designer or marketing for a large company. I also have a blog, Makeunder My Life, so I guess that is my other choice.

PP: How would you describe your personal style?
JLC: A lot like my jewelry, naturally graceful. I like ruffles and details in moderation. My basic uniform is a straight leg jean or straight skirt, printed t-shirt, and cardigan.

PP: Current trend you wouldn't touch?
JLC: Gladiator sandals - my legs are rather short and thick from running and that style would do nothing for me.

PP: Current trend you love most?
JLC: Chevron patterned anything!!

PP: Last article of clothing or accessory you purchased?
JLC: I did some major damage at a J.Crew outlet while visiting my family outside Philadelphia, including a fuchsia and white printed mini-skirt.

PP: Favorite place to shop in Chicago?
JLC: Hm. Well, my favorite boutiques are all too expensive for me to afford in general. But I love Lori's Shoes and Art Effect. I probably shop most at J.Crew.
PP: Coolest part about having your own business?
JLC: Making my own schedule and being able to grow the business however I want.

PP: Most challenging part about having your own business?
JLC: Not knowing when your next orders will come.
PP: Best tips for finding customers when first starting out?
JLC: Talk to friends, family, and co-workers. My first customers were friends, family, and teachers while I was in high school. I kept a makeup bag of jewelry with me in school so girls could check out my new styles after class. It sounds silly, but it worked!

PP: When you're not working, what can we find you doing?
JLC: Running in the morning, eating nachos with friends, enjoying wine, and shopping at Trader Joes. 

PP: What differentiates your jewelry from others?
JLC: I think the quality of my jewelry from the materials to the handmade skill is much higher than others at the same price. I also think my styles fall into two categories: staples and statements. Half of the pieces  are designed to look great with everything in your closet. The other half are designed to create a standout look by combining a basic outfit with a statement necklace.

PP: Social Awareness is an important part of your business model; can you tell us a little about Soc Chic?
JLC: Soc Chic is designed as "chic necklaces benefiting social causes." Each necklace has its own special positive name and message and benefits a different non-profit. The necklaces raise money and awareness for the cause. It's like volunteering while doing what I do best! The next cause I would like to work with is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, if anyone has a connection!

Thanks so much for sharing with Plush Palate today, Jess! Best of luck as you continue to grow your business and make your mark around the world! In the meantime, I'll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of your fall collection next month!

If you missed the first two In{her}views, you can get caught up with Cassie of coco+kelley here! And Brandon from TwentyThirtyForty right here


Natalia | Look-A-Porter said...

This jewellery pieces are so beautiful. I love those fuscia earrings.

Crystal @ Plush Palate said...

Hey, too! Little Rus, I agree! That fuscia color is awesome! And perfect for summertime too!

monica said...

wat great jewelery! and such a goood cause :)

Jess LC said...

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Crystal. The interview looks great!

Alicia said...

What wonderful work!!
I miss my retreat to Chicago & Loris Shoes. Its such a "need to shop" shop. I always come away with so many pairs of sandals for the summer.

Jill GG said...

Awesome interview... I just love Jess and her jewelry and her blog!

Crystal @ Plush Palate said...

Everyone love Jess LC! (What's not to love!?) :)

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