With no roadmap or manual to surviving life after graduation, Florida A&M alumna Janelle Edwards has paved her way to success in jewels.
Armed with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration and a passion for what she does, Edwards has successfully combined her educational background and talent to launch her own business, Janelle Jewelry.
Edwards, who graduated from the School of Business and Industry in 2005, has created an online business rather than a traditional bricks-and-mortar store.
“I began making jewelry because of a lack of availability of accessories that really spoke to me,” Edwards said. “I started selling my jewelry to do my part in helping to pay off my church’s building, Abundant Life Fellowship World Outreach Center.”
Janelle Jewelry opened in October 2006 with only one employee: Edwards. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, she generates sales by accessing her No. 1 client – college students.
“I came to love this business because I have connected with so many people,” Edwards said. “My favorite part is when I get to make something or initiate a conversation that puts a smile on someone’s face. I seriously consider a client’s comments in order to consistently provide the best possible selection. While I can’t guarantee perfection, I promise my best.”
Janelle Jewelry has been featured in Southern Living magazine and Tallahassee Magazine, establishing it as a credible jewelry company. The company offers a wide range of custom-order jewelry, including nose cuffs, which resemble a nose piercing but doesn’t require a piercing, in her collection Crazy Funky Stuff at www.crazyfunkystuff.etsy.com.
Jayla Sanders, a third-year criminal justice student from Jacksonville, Fla., has become a fan of Janelle Jewelry.
“I love the items I have purchased from Janelle Jewelry,” Sanders said. “A lot of people give me compliments and ask me where I got them from. They make a tremendous fashion statement in public.”
Edwards sells her jewelry at Set Friday every week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local retail stores, such as Avant Garb, Olde Fields Clothing Co., Cole Couture and Narcissus, sell pieces from the Crazy Funky Stuff collection. With prices ranging from $8-$40, there are options for every budget.
Julie Downs, a fashion buyer for Narcissus, a local retailer of Janelle Jewelry, said she loves what the company has to offer.
“We have been carrying pieces from Janelle Jewelry for years,” Downs said. “Over time, the designs have gotten incredible and unique, and our customers love the collection. Janelle is an awesome designer. She has a great eye as a designer and knows what it takes to get her collection sold.”