(Designers)

Jeniece Blanchet Is Creating Jewelry That Doesn’t Follow The Rules

She’s already built a celeb following.

By Adedoyin Adeniji
@jeblancisalive
JeBlanc Jewelry

When Jeniece Blanchet designs, she wants you (the eventual wearer) to think of light. Of the sun. Of emotions that embody warmth. Blanchett, the founder of JeBlanc —her Los-Angeles based jewelry brand — shares with TZR, “Think of this: you’re at dinner with someone having a conversation and suddenly they move and you see this flash of light. A glimmer. It’s beautiful isn’t it? How a little glimpse of light reflects a great deal of beauty in someone. Every time I buy a stone to create with, I test it against light. I walk to the beach with it and hold it up to the sun. I shine a flashlight on it. It’s important that every piece reflects.”

To achieve this refractive effect, Blanchet, whose interest in science inspires her work, ingeniously uses metals, crystals, and other hardware to create sculptural pieces reminiscent of punk jewelry a la ‘70s Vivienne Westwood, yet still ultra feminine and refined. JeBlanc’s most popular styles — the Brown Beaded Hoop, the Amethyst Crystal Hoop, and the Angel Aura Quartz Belt — are made in small batches and have been spotted on celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross, Kylie Jenner, and Diana Gordon. “I’m not not trying to sell another beauty standard or hard-knock-rule about what one should or shouldn’t wear,” she explains of her creative, often sculptural designs. “But, rather an avenue to appreciate things as they are. I put so much thought and care into what I create and I want that to translate to people when they buy it.”

Growing up on the outskirts of Atlanta gave Blanchet an early appreciation for the city’s vibrant sense of style. She would often spend weekends people-watching, admiring the suaveness of her community. In high school, the designer would go jewelry shopping, pick up already-made necklaces or earrings, and then take them apart and reconstruct them for friends, creating one-off designs that couldn’t be bought anywhere — an early hint at her work to come.

Yet, inspirational as Atlanta was and is to her, Blanchet knew she needed to step out of her comfort zone. “I moved to LA at 22. I knew that this city was just what my reserved personality needed to come out of her shell,” she shares. Upon arrival, she took on retail jobs at high-end fashion outlets to support herself and slowly work her way into the industry. Soon, she was styling private clients and friends.

It was designing custom jewelry for these styling clients that pushed Blanchet to take the leap into launching the brand she always dreamt of having (and even had a name for as far back as high school). But, getting a design into a celebrity’s hands doesn’t always mean instant exposure or success. “You make these pieces and you send them to the client who maybe wants to use it for a music video,” she explains. “Then it’s a waiting game to see if it ends up being used or not. If only people knew what happens behind the scenes.”

As JeBlanc’s sole employee — Blanchet has spent the last four years doing everything from designing, to customer service, to packing orders — she’s had to find a way to balance her workload. “I would hate to burn out. It’s one piece of advice I’ll give new designers. This is why I take breaks between releases. Sometimes I pause on creating to restock the shop to work on something else. I take walks on the beach. I disconnect from my phone, and immerse myself in a good book. I believe that every piece I create reflects the energy I put into it and I want to put good energy into my pieces.”

Now, as the designer gets ready to launch her first line of fine jewelry, she says she’s considering how to grow her business purposefully. “I don’t want money or the thought of attaining it to change the core of my business,” she says. “We live in a tech world and it would be super easy for me to just have my pieces mass produced, but I love artisanship and my current process is wholesome so I want to expand like that. Keep things authentic to who I am. One of my favorite books is The Little Prince and it says as adults we lose our imagination and I never want to lose that.”

While JeBlanc’s current collection is sold out, follow along on social media to keep up with her next drops.