17 year-old Jessica Furlong of ‘Jessica Louise Design’ is a self-taught designer of earrings made from quilting fabrics.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? What are your general interests?
I grew up in the Burdekin and am currently in year 11 at Burdekin Catholic High School. I’m interested in all sports – I play netball and I used to do dancing although I’m mainly focusing on my studies at the moment.
How would you describe yourself?
Well, I’m friendly, kind, helpful – I hope! And I’m really determined. I really want this business to excel.
How long have you worked as a jewellery designer?
Since November last year, it’s a very recent thing.
What inspired you to become a jewellery designer?
I always wanted a pair of fabric earrings, so I got on the internet and did some research and it actually told me how to make them. I thought, ‘this seems pretty easy’, so I ordered the materials and it all went from there. It’s so much fun.
Where do you buy your fabrics and materials?
I buy it all from an online craft store, plus eBay is pretty good for fabric considering I have to buy it separately from the empty earring frames. They’re quilting fabrics, and only come in small amounts, which is easier considering I only need small amounts and that way I’m not wasting material and money! I’ve ordered over hundred pairs so far. The empty earring frames come with a clear, plastic tool that I use to make every pair with.
What is your all-time favourite creation?
Recently I’ve been trying to figure out how to put two earrings together. I want to use a small earring and a large earring, and somehow attach them to make a dangly pair. It looks really cool at the moment, so hopefully it works out! I haven’t found any tutorials online that show me how to do it, so I’ve just been asking Dad for ideas on how to connect them.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I just order the material online, and whatever I find, I use!
What do you strive to achieve as a jewellery designer?
I would just love to open a store when I get older and be a little entrepreneur! I might move to Townsville to open it, maybe later I could open another one in Ayr. I was planning on studying accounting to give myself a bit of background in business.
Where can readers buy your earrings, and find out more about you and your work?
I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and also have a business email address if anybody wanted to email me personally. My Instagram name is ‘Jessicalouisedesign’, as is my Facebook name. My email address is ‘email@example.com’. I do custom designs too – if anybody wants something specific or basic made for an occasion, feel free to speak to me about it. A customer even gave me her own material once and I was happy to make a pair for her with that.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion and jewellery designers?
Just do it. That’s what I did, and I was so thankful that I had my friends and family to support me. On Instagram a lot of my friends have shared my page, plus I have gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from customers saying things like “Oh I’m going to tell my friends! These are so great!” A couple of my customers have been ordering bulk, which is so good and has helped me to make profit so far. I really think that these earrings are good for their money. One thing I believe to be very important is to follow up on your customers to check that they’re happy with their purchase afterwards.
JESSICA LOUISE DESIGN: https://www.facebook.com/jessicalouised