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Shining bright


September 2013

Five years ago JJ Williams took a leap from her advertising job at a Fortune 500 company to develop her own line of jewelry called JJ Number 8. The onetime Brookfield resident who has lived in London, Hong Kong and now Laguna Beach, Calif., was recently back in town to launch her jewelry line at Lyle Husar Designs in Brookfield.

Q: How did you start designing jewelry?

A: I was interested in jewelry because my grandma was into it — it came to symbolize love. I could see that someone’s ring could become a big part of their identity. That was really special. So I started taking (jewelry design) classes. I wanted to do something more meaningful, hopeful and inspiring. It started out being a creative outlet for me and became my passion.

Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

A: A lot of my inspiration comes from the gemstones — I seek out gemstones (she’s traveled as far as Namibia and Peru and often uses amethyst, white sapphire, Mother of Pearl, white opal and green onyx). I really love color and color combinations. I love Americana, old antiques and flea markets. Inspiration can come from old signage, or from the color variations in plums, or grapefruit. The beach is a huge inspiration for me: oceans, the lake, the water, the horizon, it evokes placidity. I stare out the window, a lot.

Q: JJ is your nickname, but what’s the meaning behind ‘Number 8?’

A: In America, it’s "lucky number seven" but in Asia the number eight means good luck and happiness.

Q: Your designs have been featured in magazines, on TV shows like "Glee," and on celebrities such as Kristen Bell, Selena Gomez and the Kardashians. What’s that like?

A: Really, the line is for the everyday woman. I’m more flattered by someone who is wearing the jewelry on the street.



This story ran in the September 2013 issue of: