Jstar Jewelry Designs owner Jessica Starnes was born in Texas, but currently lives in the mountains overlooking Manitou Springs, Colorado. The daughter of artistically talented parents (her mother won several state-level cake decorating competitions and her father was a gifted mixed-media artist), she grew up dabbling in various arts and crafts, but didn’t find her particular passion until she tried jewelry making after graduating from college.
After several occurrences of friends/coworkers/etc. asking to buy jewelry right off her neck, Jessica was asked by the jewelry buyer at the boutique she worked in if she would be interested in making jewelry for the store to sell. The store’s customers responded well to Jessica’s jewelry, and in time she was given the opportunity to expand her business by selling wholesale to stores throughout the Rocky Mountains and in the upper Mid-West.
Jessica is largely self-taught in beading and wire work techniques, but has attended some metal-smithing courses and is passionate about continuing to learn new methods in order to incorporate new techniques into her collections.
The philosophy behind the Jstar Jewelry Designs brand is that handmade jewelry doesn’t have to be an extravagant purchase. Each design is created with affordability in mind, so that every woman – regardless of age or income level – can start a collection of handmade pieces she’ll wear over and over again.
Each season, the collection begins with color trend research and rough inspiration sketches before Jessica heads out to bead shows to find new stones and materials that haven’t been used in the collection before. Some designs in the collection are inspired by outside sources – the colors, shapes, and textures of nature, jewelry making magazines and blogs, fashion magazines and catalogs, and other jewelry artists – but many designs are created organically when each seasons new materials are laid out side-by-side, rearranged, and mixed together until that collection’s story begins to take shape.
Every piece of Jstar Jewelry Designs jewelry is designed and manufactured in Colorado.