Jewellery maker finding market in Jamaica

December 20, 2017
One of Johnson's gold-plated pieces.
One of Krystal Johnson's creations.

What started as a simple hobby, has become a profitable business from which Krystal Johnson is making a living.

Growing up in the Barbican community, Johnson spent her days making jewellery for her self, something that comforted her.

This quickly turned into a money making endeavour because people liked what she had and were willing to buy them.

“It started as a hobby. I started making (jewellery) for myself and then friends would say 'oh I want one' and then their friends would say 'okay I want one'. I said okay let me see if I can make a business from it,” she said.

Johnson told THE STAR that her jewellery line, named LoveStayned, originally started in New York, but then she came to Jamaica this year to see how things will work in this market. J

The business is doing well according to Johnson, however she is challenged by the lack of the resources in the island.

She admits that this is a challenge to the level of work she is able to produce but she is versatile enough to take on this challenge.

“Working in Jamaica, you find out how many things we lack as in resources. And so everything has to be shipped from overseas and shipping is horrible, customs delays. That is my biggest problem working here, getting resources, (and) the time and the delays,” she said.

All of Johnson's pieces are handmade including gold plated and customised jewellery. She said the price for each piece is dependent on the style and type of jewellery a person wants.

“Gold plated would be anywhere between US$15 and US$30, and genuine leathers are US$25,” she said.

As a graduate of Parsons University in the US, Johnson studied jewellery and fashion design and is currently working from home to make her hobby a big reality.

She describes her journey as a learning process and now that she has found her niche, she said she is more capable of doing better work.

“I finally found my niche. Starting out I just made anything. Now I know what my customers want or what they gravitate towards most and I realised that personalised jewellery, gold filled is what they like. So moving forward I will be focusing on personalised, gold-filled and solid gold (pieces). My next move is to go into fine jewellery,” she added.

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