The Queen of Bling

Saturday, October 18, 2014

All women need a little bling.  Let's face it, don't you feel glamorous when you wear something sparkly? Local jewelry designer and owner of JoJo Loves You totally gets this.  With a studio in Brookline, MA, Josie (or JoJo) Marston's business has taken off--her creations are now sold in more than 150 stores across the country! The jewelry is affordable and so fun to wear. 

I recently had the opportunity to interview JoJo. Her story is inspiring and a reminder of how important it is to do what you love and follow your passion.

Susan: Where did your passion for jewelry come from?
JoJo:  I was literally the kid with 50 friendship bracelets on, I have always loved making jewelry and being creative. I've always believed in dressing it up with a little bling.

S:  Did you have formal training in jewelry design?
JJ:  Absolutely not. I did an independent study in jewelry design my senior year in college at Hobart and WIlliam Smith and from 2002 until now have been otherwise completely self taught through an excellent system of trial and error.

S:  What was the first piece of jewelry you made?  How have things changed since then?
JJ:  The first piece I made, whew thats a really tough question, its been so long. When I first started 12 years ago I did a ton of pieces incorporating vintage pins that I bought from antique stores around the north east. I also made my first pair of blings in 2002 with some vintage swarovski crystals I found at an antique store in CT.

S:  How did your jewelry company evolve?  When did you start it and why?
JJ:  I had done an independent study in jewelry design and my final project was a  trunk show, where people started buying the pieces right off the displays!I started my company when I graduated from college in 2002,  as sort of a trial. Like, try this for a year and then go get a real job type of thing. I moved to Boston and took the money I made from my trunk show at college and bought more materials, and made more jewelry. Then I put them in a patent leather suitcase and walked all around Boston and approached a bunch of stores and owners were interested and bought what I had. A few months into starting my business,  I was being carried in some of the best stores in Boston at the time, like Eye of the Needle and Holiday, and since then I have never looked back.

S:  Are celebrities wearing your pieces? If so, drop names!
JJ:  Meryl Streep has a piece, and I believe Faith Hill bought a necklace at the Beauty Mark when she was in town. Other than that, I don't know but certainly can hope~

S:  What types of materials go into your designs?
JJ:  We use all sorts of semi precious stones, agate, dyed jade, quartz. Obviously a ton of Swarovski crystals for the blings, as well as some glass pearls, druzy quartz, old hotel keytags,  really anything I can get my hands on.

S:  Where does the inspiration come from (for creating new designs)?
JJ:  I am a very visual person so get inspired by things I see. Every year my husband and I travel somewhere really sensational and I always find I am totally rejuvenated and inspired after that trip, Hong Kong is one of my favorite spots that is just amazing.

S:  What's the design process that goes into making each piece?
JJ:  I like to lay everything out before I get started, so there is always a lot of playing around, placing stones in settings before setting them, twisting huge strands of beads together before I start stringing. I have a huge bead wall behind my desk so I can just look at it and visualize doing different things with different beads.

S:  Where are all of your pieces made?
JJ:  We make everything in our design studio in Brookline MA. 

S:  Where is your line sold?
JJ:  All over the place! We are carried in over 150 stores in over 25 states in the US, an awesome store in Bermuda, and even in one boutique in Japan!

S:  What is the JoJo Loves You company philosophy?
JJ:  I'm not trying to change the world,  I am just trying to put a whole lot more sparkle in it! You don't put love in your company's name, unless you really mean it.  We make tens of thousands of earrings by hand every year, and hope people love every single one of them.

S:  How many people do you currently have working for you?
JJ:  3 employees, and 3 sales representatives who travel. Plus 2 guard dogs who come to the office with me everyday :)

S:  What is your career highlight so far?
JJ:  The highlight of my career is spotting my jewelery. Being in line at the airport and seeing the girl next to me in fleur blings, a pure barre teacher rocking mini blings, those are the best parts of my day.

S:  What trends do you see in the jewelry design world?
JJ:  Statement necklaces are excellent,  and so stud earrings are huge, as you really can't wear a drop earring with your big fabulous necklace. Also stacks of bracelets are still huge, either bangles, or beaded.

S:  What's the most challenging part of owning a business?
JJ:  There is literaly nothing NOT challenging about owning a small business. But for me, a creative person with no business background or degree, the hard stuff is the nitty gritty tax, accounting, retirement plan stuff. The things that are applicable to working for a big business, like vacation time and tech support, those are like dreams to me.

S:  Where do you see JoJo's in 5 years?
JJ:  In all honesty I hope to just keep on keeping on and doing what I'm doing. Hopefully we will expand outside the New England market more heavily and have a great presence in some other states that I think are perfect for us.

S:  What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your career?
JJ:  You can't please everyone, don't sweat the small stuff, imitation is the highest form of flattery....oh man the list goes on. But the most important lesson I have learned is to be honest, work hard, and put your whole heart in it. As long as you do that, you can't have any regrets.

"Follow your heart, do what you love" XO JoJo

Check out the gorgeous collection at
Here are some of my favorite pieces

AND of course, the original bling!

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