Living & Loving Creativity
A dusty, light filled basement craft area started my love of making and being creative. Many years later, it led me here: to supporting other small creatively driven businesses and helping them spread their creative visions.
There was a sweet, dry, and slightly musty smell in the basement of our house where I grew up.
It came from an abundance of dried flowers, grape vine, crepe paper, and acrylic paint that was cluttered on and around my mom’s craft station. The big window in front always had light pouring in and the dust from bits of brittle pastel flowers, dried baby’s breath, and powdery eucalyptus swirled around in the air.
I spent hours in the craft area when I was young; helping my mom make grapevine wreaths with the dried flowers, little angels with the crepe paper, and creating projects of my own. I painted things, made beaded jewelry, drew, wove grapevines, glued things (hot glue is really fun, haha), and did lots of other messy and creative activities.
Some of the things I made became gifts at Christmas or birthdays, a few can still be found hiding in open sight at my parent’s home today or tucked in boxes of treasures and memories from long ago.
My mom and dad always encouraged me to be creative. They ooo’ed and ahhh’ed over the art and crafts I made, they took me to boutiques filled with glasswork, pottery, painting, and handmade jewelry and to arts and crafts fairs where we walked past tents and tables filled with unique and beautiful things.
Fishy watercolors from circa third grade by Jess
Top: 18K & diamond rings & bracelet by Jess in 2016. Second Row Left: 6'x4' acrylic painting (circa 2010, by Jess) for a design event at a historic mansion. Second Row Right: Tom and Jess high school years (circa 2002) Bottom Left: Trunk show in Jersey City circa 2015 (w/ Jess (not pictured), other designers and makers)
Throughout elementary school and high school, I continued to take art lessons and classes. I even met my husband, Tom, at the age of 17 in an art class.
Tom and I both attended The Savannah College of Art & Design –me for jewelry fabrication and jewelry design, he for graphic design– and later we both graduated from The College of New Jersey where I did my thesis work on painting.
From the age of 20, I spent 16 years in the jewelry industry doing just about every job there was to do. I was a silver, gold and platinumsmith and jewelry designer. I did casting and 3-D printing, engraving, stone setting, customer service, sales, owned a fine jewelry company, did custom design and fabrication, and was a community leader, business/marketing coach, and educational director for independent jewelry designers.
"Sixteen years in one industry, especially from a young age when you get to do so many things, will teach you a lot."
Left: Jess w/ CVO & Co-Founder of Flourish & Thrive Academy, Tracy Matthews, at the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. Center: Sterling silver and 18k ring stack by Jess. Right: Jess w/ Flourish & Thrive Academy students at an in-person event in San Francisco
Between myself, my husband, our friends, both our career paths and personal interests, we’ve spent our lives creating and surrounded by creative people who do really cool stuff.
This love and appreciation for unique, creatively made things –from art, pottery, jewelry, body products and textiles to design, music, tech and so much more– runs deep and is a huge part of who I am.
Continuing to work with creative people, supporting their creativity through purchasing their goods and services, and helping to educate and also connect them with a wider audience is a huge part of what I do at Krysset.
In just a few short months of being open, as of May, 2021, Krysset has directly supported ten small, creatively driven businesses in the US and Canada (and indirectly, many more businesses like graphic designers, packaging suppliers, web services, etc.).
Spending so much time with creatives, I fell in love with their passion and creativity. Its such special thing to see how an idea goes from a tiny thought to a final result.
Seeing their genius spread is such a pleasure and I can't wait to see how many small, creative businesses Krysset will directly support in one year from now!
Two gift boxes.Ten small businesses.
The Comfort & Care Box is the original Krysset Box. Your gift of everyday comforts will be felt deep down. Supports six small businesses.
The Lilac Box is a love song to Lilacs. This gift is spring fresh and ready for relaxation. Supports four small businesses.Buy Now