J.R. Designs + Giveaway

I've think I've mentioned before how I'm not a huge jewelry person. Not because I don't want to be, I'm just worlds worst at buying jewelry. My mom and sister on the other hand; the best. I think I've asked Kathleen to buy me jewelry for the last several holidays and birthdays. Outside of my everyday pearl studs, watch and tiny gold rings, I rarely stray away. I've been pushing my limits recently and totally jumped on the tassel earring game (way out of my comfort zone). I now have a new jewelry brand that is getting me away from my everyday teeny cross necklace.

I'm so excited to share J.R. Designs with you today. These chic and stylish necklaces are perfect for any outfit, occasion, day or night. I've been throwing mine on with basically everything. Look at me go wearing big jewelry (small applause)!!!

Jordan Richardson, the master designer behind these creations, grew up in OKC and attends SMU for college. I got to meet Jordan last week to chat about her business and all things necklaces.

Jordan started J.R. Designs about a year ago right after she started her freshman year at Southern Methodist University. How she balanced a new business and school is beyond me, but bravo to you girlfriend! After coveting similar necklaces in high end boutiques, Jordan looked past their high end price tags and went to making her own version. 

She didn't start with the intention of it becoming a business, but after wearing her first necklace around campus, girls were flocking toward her design asking for their own. The business formed right in front of her and she ran with it!   

Jordan now makes necklaces in all different shapes, sizes and designs. She is locally based in OKC and Dallas but ships nationwide. The best part of J.R. Designs is the price. The whole reason she started was to avoid dropping $150+ on a necklace, so you can find all of her pieces typically under $50. Music to my ears!!

Now for the part that is probably music to your ears. Jordan was sweet enough to give away one of her unique designs to one lucky Take A Bite reader! Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter!

If you are located in OKC make sure you stop into Gretta Sloane this Thursday, July 21st for a J.R. Designs Trunk Show! Jordan will be selling a slew of necklaces that you won't want to miss. Open from 10am-7pm on Thursday, Gretta will be celebrating their anniversary with food trucks, sales and of course, J.R. Designs!

And now to get to know Jordan and J.R. Designs a little better...

A: How did J.R. Designs get started? Give me some background on your biz?
JR: I started J.R. Designs my first semester of my freshman year at SMU. Because we don't rush at SMU until second semester, I needed a hobby to keep me busy. I have always loved these kinds of necklaces but they were well out of my price range. I searched on Etsy for fun, beaded necklaces but could never find exactly what I wanted. Therefore, I got creative and made my own (the first one being in SMU colors, of course). I wore it to a Boulevard (our version of a tailgate) and received lots of compliments and so many people asking me where I bought it. From there, a business was born! 

I wanted to start selling these necklaces at affordable prices to girls around my age. I originally imagined mostly college girls buying my necklaces, but now my audience includes not only them, but also lots of younger and older girls. People ask me why I don't raise the price of my necklaces, but that is not the reason I make them. By raising the prices, I lose my target audience. My goal was to sell affordable jewelry for people who don't necessarily want to pay $100+ for fashion jewelry, and that is just what I am doing. I love being able to sell people necklaces that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. The best part is hearing feedback from my customers telling me about all of the compliments they get.

A: What does an average jewelry making day look like?
JR: It's not every day that I get to just sit down and make necklaces. Unfortunately, everyday life gets in the way, but I do set aside "necklace making days." I generally buy my beads in bulk and once I have them in my hands, I start making them right away. I sit at my workstation, turn on Netflix, and begin make necklaces for hours. I'm fortunate because I never get bored of it. I enjoy being creative to come up with original pieces, no necklace is ever the same.

A: Had you ever made jewelry before you started JRD?
JR: When I was little I used to make friendship bracelets out of string if you want to count that. Otherwise, no, it is new to me!
(Hello embroidery floss bracelets-my life when I was younger!)

A: What is your favorite J.R. Design you have made? 
JR: I can't pick one necklace in specific, but I love the arrowhead ones. I didn't originally buy the arrowhead stones because my mom didn't like them and told me people would not buy them. Well, this goes to show you that mother doesn't always know best because the arrowheads have ended up being my best sellers! 

A: Starbucks order?
JR: Call me crazy, but I am not a Starbucks fan. In fact, I have never even tried coffee! I know that if I try it once I may get addicted so I'm better off sparing my wallet and not trying it at all.

A: Sweet or salty?
JR: Salty. Don't get me wrong, I love sweets, but I generally find myself craving salty foods. My mom bakes all of the time so I am constantly surrounded by sweets which, oddly enough, makes me crave them less.

A: Favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?
JR: The Office and Gossip Girl...hellooo Chuck Bass and Jim Halpert. Just don't ask me to choose between those two shows, both are addicting! 

A: Favorite bite?
JR: This is a hard one because I love food so much. For the most part I am a healthy eater but all bets are off when it comes to pizza. Also, add this to your list next time you go to Trader Joe's, "Reduced Guilt Guacamole." I can easily go through one a day. Luckily there is a Trader Joe's right by me in Dallas, but for now Tulsa is the closest option. Honestly, the 1.5 hour drive may be worth it.
(I'm impatiently waiting for the OKC location to open in September. Reduced Guilt Guacamole is at the top of my list to purchase once it does!)

To order your own J.R. Design you can contact Jordan by email jmrich2010@gmail.com or phone 405-250-7866 (ships nationwide). Make sure to follow her Instagram @j.r.designs for new designs and styles!



Back by popular demand! I'm not sure if I've had as much readership on a post as I did on my last Beaded by W giveaway! Whitney is my awe-inspiring entrepreneur sorority sis and also the owner and creator of Beaded by W

Since the last giveaway I did with Whitney, she has taken her business and expanded it tremendously. Whitney knew her jewelry business was her passion, so for the past six months she has completely followed her heart and put everything into growing her business. Talk about a lesson in going after your goals!

We've been talking about doing another giveaway since our last one and the time is finally here. Today I'm giving away one of Whitney's wrap bracelets. I'm a little sad I have to give it away because I want to keep it for myself! The beads are strung on a stretchy band so you can wrap them as tight as you want around your wrist. P.S. it's super comfy!

Peruse Whitney's site and see all the new additions she's added to her jewelry repertoire, my favorite are the new horn necklaces.  To enter: comment below with your favorite Beaded by W piece or tag two friends on my Instagram (bonus points if you do both)! Good luck! Winner will be announced Wednesday a.m.

Find Whit on InstagramFacebook and her Website!


Beaded By W + My First GIVEAWAY

Meet Whitney; my new friend, sorority sister, young entrepreneur, and stud jewelry maker!

I stalk Beaded by W on Instagram, in aw of all of Whitney's designs. Every time she posts, I brainstorm what I want to order for myself. I'm slightly obsessed with the gold and wood beads on the necklace Whitney made me. 

Between the craziness of starting college, this Austin native manages to balance school, sorority, a social life and making anywhere from 30-40 necklaces a week. She's always taking orders while also making jewelry to sells in stores around Austin, Norman, OK, Tulsa, OK and more. If I could tell you how she manages it all I would. 

Q & A with Whitney:

A: How did Beaded by W get started? Give me some background on you and your biz!
W: So it was January 2 of my senior year in high school and I was bored and looking for a hobby since senior year is pretty laid back. I noticed I was sitting on my phone and Netflix a lot so I wanted to do something to keep myself off of my technology and do something productive. 

I saw a tassel necklace in a store and I really really wanted it but it was $80. I figured out how to make the tassel, bought some beads, and made myself a tassel necklace. My friend saw me wearing it and she wanted it, then her friend wanted it, and then their friends wanted one too. I thought "maybe I can make a business out of this, just something small". So I did. 

My goal was to sell affordable cute jewelry and my target audience was girls my age and in college. I know that girls don't want to spend a lot of $$ on jewelry so I priced it somewhat low- $20 for a necklace. I think that strategy is what made my business successful- girls are getting good quality jewelry for a somewhat cheap price. I launched my Instagram "beaded by W" at the beginning of March and by the end of the week, most of my high school knew about it and I was getting a lot of orders. Within two weeks I had a store contact me: Beehive Boutique in Austin! A girl went into the store wearing one of my necklaces and they loved it so she gave them my contact information and they ordered necklaces from me. Now I have jewelry being sold in 3 states, 6 cities, and 8 stores and it is expanding! I still take individual orders though too! You don't have to go to a store to buy my jewelry- you can purchase directly through me by emailing me. 

A: Have you always made your own jewelry?
W: I use to make jewelry with my grandma when I was little and I loved it. I remembered the basic steps of jewelry making so I thought I would start making jewelry again just for fun. Making jewelry is a fun, stress reliever for me.

A: What does an average day making jewelry look like for you?
W: An average day for me is go to class, study in between all of my classes, come back to my dorm room and break out the jewelry and work on it for about three hours, and then I'll study for a little and then work on it more. It's very very time consuming but it is my passion and I absolutely love it. 

A: What has been your biggest accomplishment with your jewelry so far?
W: My biggest accomplishment so far is this past July, a girl I went to high school with is an intern for the long center in Austin, which is a big event center and is well known throughout the city. She contacted me about making 300 necklaces for their fall event "Skyline".The necklaces are going in the VIP "swag bags" and I get to put my business cards in the bags, so I really couldn't turn it down! It is my proudest accomplishment to have made 300 tassel necklaces first semester of my freshman year of college just because it is so crazy time consuming. I've had to risk some of my social life to do this, but I think in the end it is worth it. 

A: Do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs? 
W: Tips for young entrepreneurs: I still have no idea what I am doing really, all I know is that I have a dream- I have no idea where it is going to take me, but I'm excited to see where it will. If you have a dream or an idea, go for it. It could be the best decision you make in your life. If you fail, it is a lesson learned! Everything happens for a reason and I am a strong believer in doing what you love with your life. Even if others think it is dumb, trust your gut and follow your heart. Work hard- don't slack off, it will be worth it in the end because you are doing what you love! 

A: What is your favorite Beaded by W piece you’ve made?
W: I would say my favorite beaded by W necklace I have made is my gray pearl beads with rose gold beads in between and a magenta tassel. I love the color combo! 

Whitney uses Instagram as her way to advertise her business and promote new designs. Make sure to follow her on insta but also like her  Facebook page. If you want to place an order you can email Whitney at beadedbyw@gmail.com!

Now for the fun part. I'm sure you are all in love with Whitney's necklaces by now, soooo time for a GIVEAWAY!

Whitney made this beautiful gold and black tassel necklace that will be going home with one lucky Take A Bite reader!

How to Enter: (Enter just one way or all 5 ways, the more entries the better chance at winning!)

1. Comment on this post 

2. Comment by tagging two friends on my Instagram

3. Like Take A Bite on Facebook

4. Like beaded by W on Facebook

5. Follow  beaded by W  on Instagram

If you like or follow Take A Bite or beaded by W, let me know in your comment! Winner will be announced Friday at noon.


Domestic Goddess

Jewelry being styled with food. I'm sold. Shopbop's spring jewelry edit is now being featured on their website. The pictures of not only an amazing looking blueberry pie, but also some beautiful jewels is genius. Shopbop's use of styling of an arm full of bracelets on a girl whisky up pie crust has me seriously convinced I need all the jewelry she is wearing. 

Leather strap watches are still catching my attention as well as mid knuckle rings. Head over to shopbop to see the rest of the spring jewelry collection!
xo annie