For the first of (what we hope will be) many Q&A sessions with passionate self-starters and motivators, Twinseperable sat down with Lisette Ffolkes, creator of NY based jewelry line Jam + Rico to learn about her life and her line.
How long have you been making jewelry? I was inspired by a family friend who designed jewelry when I was a young teenager. I began making my jewelry when I was just 14 and started a small line named “Jewels by Lisette.” Although the majority of my business came from friends and family, I also sold jewelry in 2 local Brooklyn businesses; one of which I taught jewelry making classes at when I was 16.
What and/or who inspired you to start your own line? I have been surrounded by women my entire life who have started their own companies and they have continually inspired me to become a businesses owner. Coupling my entrepreneurial spirit with my passion for design and jewelry making has allowed me to see my own creations come to life through Jam + Rico. There isn’t a better feeling!
Jam + Rico is a very interesting name. Where does it come from? The name comes from my cultural background. I wanted my company’s name to connect directly to who I am, which is Jamaican and Puerto Rican.
From what do you draw your inspiration for the pieces? I find inspiration from my culture. My father is of Jamaican decent and my mother, Puerto Rican, African American and Native American decent, so I pull inspiration from my roots. The colors, music and spirit of the islands my grandparents were raised on are a constant inspiration that manifests itself throughout my designs.
How would you describe the line in three words? Cultural…Vibrant…Free-Spirited
Sacrifice and discipline are key ingredients to pursing a passion
How did it feel launching your own jewelry line? It is a mixture of feelings that is hard to describe. It’s liberating in a sense, definitely exhilarating and almost surreal. I dreamt of having my own company for many years and to finally be embarking on such a journey is incredibly humbling and gratifying.
Who is your style icon? My style icon is Frida Kahlo, known for her self portraits. I love how she never shied from color, texture or patterns. Jam+Rico always considers these three elements for every design.
Do you have a next step planned and what is the end goal? Jam+Rico’s next step is to continue our branding and marketing efforts while strengthening our customer relationships. We look forward to upcoming flea markets, art shows and festivals throughout the New York area. My end goal which is really just the beginning of a new chapter for Jam + Rico, would be opening my 1st brick and mortar boutique location. I dream of being in the competitive space with some of the larger, more well known retailers.
Do you have another job? Fortunately, yes. As a novice business owner, I am splitting my time between pursuing my entrepreneurial efforts and full time employment within the fashion industry
Finally, What advice do you have for someone who has a 9-5 but also wants to pursue another passion? Everyone can do anything they put their mind towards. It sounds cliche but truly, if there is a will there is way. I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I found time to work on those goals. Sacrifice and discipline are key ingredients to pursing a passion when you have only a few hours to dedicate a day. Over time those committed hours add up. There is always time to work on your dreams!
The Geometric Tassel Earrings (below) are by far my favorite, but they are all exceptionally fabulous and incredibly on-trend. You can view the rest of the product here and stay tuned to see them featured in a look. The collection is strong out of the gate and we are very excited to see what the future has in store for this newborn brand.