Becoming a Designer: Jess LC

May 5th, 2011

Today’s guest in our Becoming a Designer series is Jess Constable the design genius behind Jess LC. I own and adore some gorgeous pieces from her jewelery line, and she has just launched a new line of handbags that are unbelievably gorgeous as well. To be honest, I find her truly inspirational – she is 100% self made, and when she’s not working on her brand, she writes the popular blog Makeunder My Life.

Jess has done an amazing job of talking about her journey to where she is now on her blog, so this post will give a basic rundown of her journey, with links to more information that you can find on her blog. For those of you who are small business owners or are thinking about starting a small business, I would highly recommend her blog as a must read resource.

My name is Jessica Lynne Constable and I’m a jewelry designer in Chicago, Illinois. If you’d rather watch a video of me explaining the start of Jess LC, click here.

My business name, Jess LC, comes from my name and initials. But I have to admit, in 1999 the company was originally named Starlette Jewelry. As a 15-year-old living in Rochester, Michigan, I taught myself to make “totally rad” star ankle bracelets at a local pool. While making these beaded ankle bracelets, four women bought them from me on the spot. These unintentional sales changed my professional life forever. Inspired to earn my “fun money” selling jewelry rather than baby-sitting, I soon learned new jewelry techniques and sold my designs to teachers, students, and 12 stores across Michigan.

In 2003, I began college at the University of Michigan and studied Business Administration at the Ross School of Business. While struggling through operations management and corporate finance classes, I continued selling jewelry and re-named the business Jess LC. During my junior year, I interned in New York City at Macy’s Merchandising Group within Product Development. Though the internship was great, I resolved to take a CEO position after graduation… at Jess LC. When I graduated I was also named “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Which sounds impressive, until you find out that I was the only student with a business, and therefore the only nominee. Ahem.

After graduation in August of 2007, I moved to Chicago and started Jess LC full-time. Setting up shop in a small studio apartment as a one-woman show was challenging (read: really hard). {read more here}. But after three years of hard work and a lot of growth, we now have a bustling online flagship store (selling worldwide) and we work with boutiques nationwide as well. Recently we have gotten some great press via Real Simple and Daily CandyPeople Magazine and US Weekly have also featured our jewelry as well. And in 2010 we were nominated for the Chicago FGI Rising Star Award.

In our Chicago workspace, my trusty assistant Susie assembles the jewelry for each order by hand, while Melissa and Kat, our awesome interns, help the business by running the online order processing.

It’s truly a dream come true.

In January of 2009, I started a blog called MakeunderMyLife.com. This site soon became the vehicle with which I spread my message of “designing a life with intention.” Because if there is one thing I’ve learned from eleven years of self-employment, it’s that we have the ability, in large part, to create the life we want. If you’re interested in pursuing your purpose, simplifying your life, or just being more intentional, check out MML and see if it resonates with you.

And if you just want to say hi and make a connection, please do! You can find me at jess@jesslc.com. I’d love to meet you.

{originally posted here}

Helpful Articles from Make Under my Life:

A few snaps from the new Lakeshore Bag collection. View Lookbook here.

Becoming a Designer series by Megan Nielsen

6 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is really inspiring and I can’t wait to read all of the separate links!

    xo
    Erin

  2. [...] – The amazingly sweet designer and blogger Megan Nielsen did a great feature post on me, Jess LC, and many of the best posts from MML. [...]

  3. kelsey says:

    isn’t she such an inspiration?! love her!

  4. Trudy Callan says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Jess. She is so inspiring and truly amazing. I will read each link and her blog. Keep the interviews coming. This is an exciting series.

  5. Malú says:

    Hi dear Megan
    I found this site http://sensibility.com/about/ and I remembered your become a designer serie. I don´t know if you´re going to like it for your serie but I think it is also inpirational.
    I love your site and your collections, I´ve followed your work since 2009 when I started sewing cause my mother gave me her sewing machine.
    Hugs from Guadalajara, México.
    Malú

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