"Fashion should be a projection of the current times," at least that's what the out-of-this-world jewelry designer JeBlanc believes. And while the world is very much at a standstill, she hasn't stopped creating her handmade pieces. Instead, she took a step back from her “release-and-repeat” process, analyzed the shift that was happening, and introduced much more purpose to her designs (which usually sell out within hours).
Each piece is made to order and a work of art meant to reflect the consumer's desire for quality items that’ll last a lifetime. To determine if her work is worth sharing with her 33K followers, the designer asks herself questions like, Does this create a feeling? Does it enhance someone's home life? Is this necessary? So it comes as no surprise that this intentional creation has made her the rising jewelry designer to watch. We spoke with her about her design influences, her breathtaking IG feed, and her vintage-jewelry shopping tips. Keep reading to immerse yourself in the world of JeBlanc.
On her creative process…
For those who aren’t familiar with you or your work, can you share a little about yourself and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been creating since I came out of the womb, seriously. I grew up in the countryside of Georgia and eventually moved to Atlanta, a place where lots of greenery and city life coexist. So I feel grounded (down to earth) but also modern—mixing the vintage with the metals, etc. I initially started reconstructing pieces, and then jewelry came naturally because I wanted to be able to use tools. I sold jewelry in high school to my friends just for fun. When you have a passion, it lives inside of you, and in the beginning, I didn’t see it as “designing.” It was more so following my heart’s desires and seeing the outcome.
I started as a stylist to understand the logistics behind the pieces and then naturally started styling my own designs. I truly believe my undeniable love for luxury and beauty and not being able to afford it is what led me to create my own jewelry.
What influences and inspires your work?
I can simply say the movement of life. I’m inspired by humans who smile when you walk past them, the sun reflecting off of metal objects, dancing, the flow of the ocean—it all comes back to movement, the flow of life.
Who do you envision wearing your pieces when you’re designing?
Individuals who are consciously kind and who understand the importance of the details of life.
How different is your approach when it comes to designing body jewelry as opposed to the other pieces you create?
When it comes to the body, I’m very aware of the crystals I use and their purpose and chakras they are enhancing. For example, lapis stone is more for your throat chakra and opening of your third eye, so I try not to use too much of that around the waist. I’m so extremely particular, once again, on the movement of my body pieces. I want my people to be able to dance and sit and eat, so I’m very cautious of the versatility, functionality, and strength (quality).
You design clothing as well. Do you see yourself creating any more clothing in the future, or are you more focused on jewelry?
Clothing was my first love. I have so many ideas to incorporate those two worlds. It’s truly a dream to be a designer in many realms. I’ve designed a dress before, and that went well, but I truly wanted to use my hands and get the hard work done first so that when I have a production, I can genuinely say I’ve been there before. I want the full 360 views when it comes to design, and that's what separates a boss from a leader.
Your Instagram is very curated and somewhat of a virtual mood board. Is this intentional, or do you post what you feel at the moment?
Thank you! I seriously never ever curate any of my posts. I want it to feel like real time and authentic. My aesthetic is undone and behind the scenes, which comes off raw, I would say. The more I curate, the less I want to post. I work best when an idea is whimsical and on the spot. I just want you to understand that I am real and that beauty is real and life is filled with beauty every second. It doesn’t necessarily have to be carefully examined. Beauty is alive and breathing right now!
On curating a jewelry collection…
A lot of your pieces have a very vintage feel to them. What tips would you give when shopping for vintage jewelry?
If it doesn’t speak to you, don’t buy it! Vintage pieces hold certain energy and story, so it's your duty to take that piece home and bring it more life. It's a treasure hunt! So listen closely and don’t purchase it just because it's a good deal.
Do you have any tips on how to curate a timeless jewelry collection and how to take care of the pieces so they last?
Tip #1: Choosing the proper-quality metal, wiring, beads—tools are everything. Invest in quality.
Tip #2: Ask yourself the following questions: What is the purpose? Where does it originate from? What part of the body/soul are your pieces enhancing? Do your peers and immediate community like it? Can you wear it on a date, or is it an everyday lifestyle item?
Tip #3: Don't hesitate to invest. Nobody wants shallow pieces, and make sure to bring them in different environments, as in, what if it gets wet, or when you’re sitting directly in the sun, does it get too hot?
Tip #4: Pay attention to details, take those extra steps, and work to ensure the details are prevalent.
I truly wear a lot of my grandmother's jewels, but some of my favorite brands currently are…
I'm also a fan of Grainne Morton's work, as it's so funky!
On her style…
What's your favorite current jewelry trend, and how you would typically style it?
Right now, I’m truly bingeing mix-and-match pieces. The whole world is up in the air, so it just feels right to be able to wear both and say f-it! We are living in such whimsical times. Most of us have been in our sweatpants, sweatshorts, etc., but for me, as a lover of fashion, I always have to be able to still feel fly no matter what (I can't help it), so I find myself always wearing a nice top with comfy bottoms. It can be a silk top, sweatpants, and mixed metals, beads, etc. I always find the mix-and-match trend looks better when your outfit correlates. Textures and prints that you usually wouldn't wear together kind of all come together when you mix your metals as well or have one long earring and one short. These times are funky and so should our artistic expressions. One thing I will say about this trend is it's about balance—mixing the comfy with the luxury. The choice is yours, but the main thing is having fun. This is truly how I stay inspired during quarantine.
On the future of JeBlanc…
What advice would you give someone who is trying to start a jewelry line?
Accessories are here to enhance the ordinary; think of enhancing beauty. The more detailed you are, the more luxurious the piece. Always keep beauty and a mature youthfulness in mind. Jewelry is something that is passed down, so don’t be afraid to aim for classic designs as well, and if you’re not wearing your own pieces, nobody else wants to, either.
Where do you see your brand by the end of 2020?
Twenty-twenty is so up in the air! I can’t even fathom trying to visualize the end of this. I pray for the world. I just hope that my voice is louder and being heard, the purpose is obvious, and I create pieces that trigger others to be gentler and kinder and more loving.