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.