Lisette Scott may be a native New Yorker, but her jewelry brand Jam+Rico is a love letter to her Caribbean roots. Inspired by her heritage and fueled by a desire to make jewelry that is vibrant and fun, the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative participant crafts pieces that will make anyone feel like they have been transported to a lush, tropical locale with every wear.
What were your earliest jewelry memories?
Lisette Scott: My family was always into jewelry. I had a watch from my grandmother that she spent her life saving for. I always thought about my mom’s jewelry box from the ’80s, which had all these different and unique shapes, colors and styles. I love that part about growing up with her because she wasn’t afraid to wear pieces like that. That’s where my love of jewelry developed because I saw it didn’t always have to be about fine jewelry and keepsake pieces. I was first introduced to the idea of having unique, colorful jewelry pieces through my mom.
What inspired you to make jewelry?
LS: A family friend who owned a jewelry store. She started because of her love of design and art and created unique pieces. I decided to play around with different metals and different gemstones and realized I could do the same.
How would you describe the Jam+Rico aesthetic?
LS: I try to make it as fun, colorful, and playful as possible. When I wear jewelry, I want statement pieces and things that catch your eye. With fine jewelry, the journey has been to blend the two worlds together and still incorporate color and inspiration from the Caribbean.
What’s the story behind your brand’s name?
LS: Jam+Rico stands for Jamaica and Puerto Rico, which represents my cultural background. I have family from both islands and wanted to create something that honors that. When I first started the brand, I wanted to start something that connected to me. I have a story to tell while I’m on this journey of creating. I know a lot of brands create beautiful things, but what’s the story behind it? Why are you making these things? What do you want to tell or share? I knew I wanted to share the Caribbean.
How do you balance being a creative with being a business owner?
LS: It’s still a challenge and I’m more of a creative person. That’s the thing I want to do when I wake up. I don’t want to check my finances and do the spreadsheets, but I think it’s refreshing to play on both sides, especially since I’ve been doing the creative side for so long. So now I’m learning how to do those things on my own and keeping track of my finances and having a little bit more experience with them.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
LS: I love highlighting and working with Caribbean brands and people because the story and the connection is already there. I’d love for Rihanna to wear my jewelry. I would love to work with stores that are not traditional, but that embrace these pieces because they offer a different point of view. I want to connect with different Caribbean brands, both in the States and in the islands. It would be fun to work with hotels.
What excites you most about your natural diamond jewelry collection?
LS: The collection exudes the fun, colorful, creative energy that I want to express in the brand. Artists are coming out with things that are nontraditional in the fine jewelry world, so I put my touch on that and I like to see how I can express that part of the creative world. Not everything has to be white diamonds and traditional styles. I want to challenge the customers to think outside of the box and see the different ways you can express yourself through fine jewelry.