Jam + Rico: Traveling Treasures

Who doesn't love to travel? It opens your eyes to new perspectives, new people, new food and in the case of Lisette Folks, the designer behind Jam + Rico, new jewelry. Finding inspiration in travel is what drives each Jam + Rico collection, with the colors and textures of Lisette's journeys influencing her designs. Yet, whether it's coconut hoops or cowrie studs, there's always some island drama to enjoy too— Lisette's beautiful and exotic jewelry never strays too far from her own Caribbean roots.

The Jewelry Edit had the opportunity to talk to Lisette Ffolkes about what inspires her.

How did you come up with the name/concept for your company?

It took about six months to choose a name for my business. I came across an article that said the best way to name a business was to write down all of the things that were important to you and how those things would impact your business. I made a long list and finally decided I wanted my heritage to be the focus and named my brand Jam+Rico, which stands for Jamaica and Puerto Rico. 

Where do you look for inspiration when designing pieces?

Each year I select a Caribbean Island to visit. I experience the food, music and culture of each place. Throughout the trip I sketch, develop a color story and design a collection. So far I have designed collections in Cuba, Jamaica, Auba and Puerto Rico. 

What are your favorite types of pieces to design?

I love to design earrings. It comes easier to me because it's my favorite accessory. However, I'm working on expanding our collections to include more of a variety of rings, anklets and necklaces. 

What’s your favorite type of material to wear/work with?

Right now, I love working with plated brass but I am going to start working with more raffia, beads and wood. I love mixing materials with jewelry. 

How would you describe your style?

I love color, patterns and ease! I don't put myself in a box, but I love tropical vacation vibes all the way. 

What was the first piece of jewelry you remember buying for yourself?

I bought my favorite bangle on a trip in Paris. I stumbled upon the cutest little jewelry store with unique treasures. It was hard to walk away with just one piece. 

The bangle was brass and molded to fit my wrist exactly. The second half of the bangle was a fabric wrapped loop that hooked onto a circle at the top of the bangle as a closure. The fabric was colorful and gave the bangle a uniqueness. 

What’s the most special piece of jewelry you own? What’s the story behind it?

My most treasured piece of jewelry is a ring from my grand mom. She gifted me the ring for my confirmation, and it was my first grown up piece of jewelry. I remember her every time I wear it. 

It's a classic gold band of medium thickness with my birthstone, a peridot, at the center. 

What’s one piece of jewelry you wear often, that you can’t live without?

I wear my Jam + Rico Cowrie Bangles everyday and would never leave the house without them.

How many pieces of jewelry do you usually wear at any given time?

I love to layer on the jewelry! Three necklaces, a stack six or more bangles, lots of rings and I could never leave the house without earrings. 

Why do you think it’s important for people to wear/own jewelry?

Jewelry has a way of transforming the wearer. It's like an amour that shields and protects you. 

What’s something people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?

Have fun with jewelry buy and wear what makes you happy! 

What draws customers in to purchase jewelry from your collection?

I want our customers to instantly grab our jewelry when they are about to take a trip or go on vacation. You just can't travel without some Jam+Rico jewelry. Our jewels are travel ready!