Independent Jewelry Makers in Jackson, Mississippi
When the Sex and the City reboot on HBO Max launched on December 9, one of the show's leading ladies noted her jewelry had come from "an independent maker in Jackson, Mississippi." We'd like to think maybe one of these three Jacksonians could have been the inspiration behind the line.
Casey Jennings, Ponderosa Drive
Casey Jennings is quick to downplay her success. “There are so many amazing women jewelry-makers that are already doing cool stuff in the area. I know my stuff is vastly different, but I just didn’t expect that response.”
What makes it different? Polymer clay. While studying graphic design at Mississippi State University, Jennings took several art classes, including sculpture. “Clay is pretty affordable, which is every college student’s dream,” she laughs. “I saw earrings my creative director gave his girlfriend and I thought, ‘How can I make those?’ I also needed them to be super lightweight.”
A lightbulb went off – clay. “I started toying with it and here we are.”
In 2020, Jennings work was been featured prominently on HGTV’s “Hometown,” dangling from the ears of designer Erin Napier.
Thabi Moyo, Xcessory Freex
Some people know her as a filmaker and storyteller, but lately, Thabi Mayo is being recognized for her jewelry.
The creator of Xcessory Freex, a handmade jewelry company in Jackson, Moyo has been working with hammered metals for about five years.
"I'm super excited about that business," Moyo said. "It's my creative outlet my therapy - and I really enjoy seeing people wear my works.
A popular item, available in her online store, "A Tribute to Nina" has been a popular earring. Said Moyo, "It gets a lot of comments. It's a statement piece, and it's bold. But they're lightweight being made of aluminum."
Lauren Miltner, Lo Lady Fashion
When Lo Lady Fashion first came into being, Lauren Miltner created jewelry because it was time she could spend with her mom as a creative outlet.
“I got into (the jewelry business) with my mother (Patti Betts), taking vintage artwork and upcycling it. We would Photoshop photos and rework them into pendant necklaces,” she said.
But what she found was that jewelry was a unique way of expression and a way to forge connections. Her pieces are decidedly vintage-inspired, but with a sophisticated, yet minimalistic twist.
Miltner describes it as “vintage paired with something new, along with the dynamic of stones. It was this trifecta of my favorites – vintage, modern and gems and minerals. I love doing custom pieces."