Most young ladies get their ears pierced and quickly venture off to find a trendy pair of earrings to sport. For Janelle Napier in 2004, this posed a problem.
“I had these holes in my ears with nothing to put into them.” She explains that she could not find a pair of earrings she liked. She probably did not envision that only four years later she would have her own small business, Janelle’s Jewelry, which has expanded to ten stores in Tallahassee and one in Atlanta, Ga.
Napier is a Tallahassee native and 2005 FAMU graduate. She explains that she entered FAMU’s School of Business and Industry with the idea for a business. She carried around a binder with pictures of the customized jewelry she designed. Napier started off exclusively doing custom designs, but now creates only one of a kind or 2 pieces of each item. “I wouldn’t want anyone having on what I have,” she explains as the reason for being unique.
Napier does other things on the side like designing apparel, purses, and even ties for men. But she admits, “If there’s ever a point in my life where I didn’t have to work anymore, I would still design jewelry, just on a smaller scale.”
The young entrepreneur, credits a significant amount of her success to the Green Pages, a book started at Florida A&M that advertises developing student businesses. While she does have a MySpace page and Web site for the business, she said the Green Pages have been her only form of advertisement and business is booming. Janelle’s Jewelry works with a majority of other student owned businesses, as well as establishments like Tallahassee Logos and Kenny T’s.
Janelle’s Jewelry is available to college students by vendor at FSU Union on Wednesdays, TCC on Thursdays, and at FAMU Set Fridays.
Napier advises young entrepreneurs, “If anyone tells you ‘you can’t’, block it out! Put your heart into anything you want to do as long as you believe you can do it.” She explained the chain of events leading up to the creation of Janelle’s Jewelry.
Getting her ears pierced lead her to making jewelry and attending SBI peaked her interest in selling the items.
But the main reason for the beginning, was her promise to her church, to donate money to worldwide and local missions.
“While I can’t guarantee perfection, I promise my best,” her Web site assures customers. (http://buyjanellejewelry.com/index.html) Now Napier is committed to her mission: “With my varied selection of unique items and styles I strive to be among the “A list” of brands providing handcrafted jewelry to the consumer who is searching for original items that cannot be found easily in mainstream fashion.”