In this interview, we hear from the founder of Jacx Carter Designs, a jewelry brand that creates unique pieces using mixed media. TieSha Carter, who is self-taught, shares that her passion for jewelry design started as a coping mechanism for anxiety and panic disorder.
She launched Jacx Carter Designs in 2021 on Etsy and later decided to build her own unique brand to stand out from the saturated market. TieSha prides herself on making every piece herself and supporting other small business owners when sourcing materials. Her goal is for people to feel confident and proud when they wear her jewelry, which she believes accentuates their personality and identity. TieSha is currently a part-time Senior Systems Engineer, but hopes that Jacx Carter Designs will one day become her full-time career. Her advice for aspiring designers is to bet on themselves and start small.
Ready to be inspired? Read on...
Tell us the journey that led you to launching your brand, Jacx Carter Designs…
Jewelry design and creation started off for me as a coping mechanism for anxiety and panic disorder. I would escape to my sunroom (currently my studio/office) and turn on youtube videos or attend online workshops to learn different styles and techniques for creating jewelry pieces (hence the self-taught). Eventually my creations started taking over the room and my husband asked what I planned on doing with them. He and other’s who saw the pieces I made were surprised at the quality and creativity and encouraged me to start selling. So, in 2021 I launched Jacx Carter Designs as an Etsy shop. In 2022 I decided to navigate away from Etsy and truly build my own unique brand leaving behind the platform of a saturated market.
The name Jacx came from the first and middle initials of my children’s name Xavier Julian and Chloe Ann. It is some that I wrote on a vision board in 2018 with no idea at the time what it would become. It’s amazing how vision works and manifests itself.
What sets you apart from other jewellery designs?
The biggest thing that sets me apart from other designs is that every single piece that I sell was made by me. My hands have literally touched every product that is in my shop. Because I love to explore all different types of materials, I think you will find a lot of mixed media pieces in my shop that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I feel like a lot of brands are known for that one particular thing and that is not Jacx Carter Designs. You will find styles I believe can suit anyone’s personal style (maybe except for those that are looking for something more traditional).
I also like to highlight that because I am as small business, I do my best to source my materials from other small business owners. I believe in supporting my community.
How did you first discover your passion for jewellery design?
I have always, always had a passion for the creative arts. I have painted, done photography, knitted on the side but nothing has stuck like jewelry design. It was something that seemed to come easily and allows me to continue to explore the other areas just mentioned all in one place.
I can also say my family has also been a big influence. My grandmothers would always dress to impress to include having shoes, purses and accessories to match. I remember watching them layout their outfits for the day and lastly picking out the perfect accessories to finish the look. My mother has always been into fashion as well. She owned a consignment shop and has been a personal stylist, so I guess it was hidden deep down in my DNA.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewellery?
When people wear my pieces I want them to feel confident. I want them to feel like they are wearing something that totally represents and accentuates their personality and identity. I want them to be proud that they have a one of a kind piece that they selected just for them.
Have you got plans to expand your range and launch other products in the future?
My father always teases me about not having anything to offer for men and so I have been thinking about pursing a men’s collection in the future. Right now, I am just doing some research on the demographic.
I have also been playing around with some simple wire wrapped rings. There is a possibility for a small collection of rings sometime in the future.
If you didn’t pursue this career, what else would you have liked to do?
Honestly this is not my full-time gig. I would absolutely love to get to that point. Right now I work part-time as a Senior Systems Engineering for a small business. I have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Computer Science. Jacx Carter Designs is my dream coming true.
What advice would you offer any aspiring designers who are struggling to get started?
Bet on yourself. My favorite quote is “You automatically loose the changes you don’t take.” – Unknown author.
Take the leap just get started and start small. Etsy was a great platform for me to see how my pieces would do and was not too overwhelming or to much of a learning curve.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
Mondays and Fridays are my days that are dedicated to Jacx Carter Designs (although I do small things throughout the week and on Sundays) while Tuesdays – Thursdays I am in the office performing in my role of Lead Systems Engineer. I am going to use Monday as my average day.
My alarm goes off at 6:30am I hop up and go to my children’s rooms to wake them up and layout their close for the day. While they are getting ready I had back to my room to throw something on and take a few minutes to read a daily devotional or a page out of my current bible study guide. Once everyone is ready then it’s time to head downstairs for breakfast, morning devotion with the kids and off to drop off at school. Once back home I finally grab a bite to eat while going through my list of things for the day prior to my weekly 11:00am meeting with my marketing project manager. Once the meeting is over, I knock out any action items I may have had and move on to the next part of my day. The next few hours (prior to 2:30 when it’s time to leave to pick up the children) I head to my sunroom (aka workshop) and work to finish up any pieces I may have started but not finished from the prior week and over the weekend. I also layout any designs I have in mind to start working on during the week. My day usually ends once the kids are home from school where I shift gears to focus on their needs, preparing for dinner or finishing up loose ends around the house.
I typically reserve Friday’s for photographing pieces, editing, and uploading to the website.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything that you would do differently?
I started learning the business side of things after starting the business. I think I would have done a little more research on running a business first prior to just leaping in. However, I have learned at lot doing it the way that I did and am still learning.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
My husband and I would love to do an extended vacation where we can visit Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands.
Running a business can be non-stop, what do you do to switch off?
When I switch off from business mode I am typically spending time with family, bingewatching my favorite show on Netflix and/or Hulu or working on a puzzle.
What’s your go to quote when you’re lacking motivation?
“If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it, but if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” - Romans 8:24-25
In five years from now, where do you see the brand?
My dream for my brand is to be seen on the red carpet and on runways both nationally and internationally. Currently I am a member of FlyingSolo NYC and you can find a curated collection of my pieces in their store. I want to continue to be a boutique brand and be able to collaborate with more boutiques worldwide.
Where can people find out more?
To learn more about Jacx Carter Designs you can visit our website at www.jacxcdesigns.com and follow us on Instagram @jacxcarterdesigns