Name: Jessie Greene-Hill
What was your career path leading up to your current job?
It was always to be a jeweler, and to make jewelry, since I was 13. I went all through high school focusing on the arts.
What does your job entail, and what is your career goal?
My job entails custom jewelry, production, stone-cutting, there’s a lot of different techniques I use. But it also entails business, dealing with customers, maintaining a retail space, keeping everything fresh, finding new inventory, designing new things, marketing and finding new customers.
My goal is to expand my production because right now I can’t produce enough for my demand. I’ve been working on building a new workshop full of new equipment that will enable me to make 100 copies plus of every piece I design. It’s a small production; most places do thousands and thousands, but I want to keep it local, keep it small, keep it handcrafted, and I can still do that, but increase my amount of production.
That’s my big goal, and hopefully the rest of the world will see it. So the more I have, then the more I can market outside of the island. So that’s been my big thing since I can only handle what I have going on there. I really want people in Chicago to know my name, and New York to know my name, and Paris to know my name. So as soon as I get enough made then I can really start to market outside of the island.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Having my own shop has been a very big accomplishment for me. It’s a lot of work, and I feel really lucky that I’ve had it for nine years now, and I’ve been able to maintain a storefront for nine years.
Going to school in San Francisco was pretty big too. I studied with Alan Revere at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts.
What’s your favorite high school memory?
Meeting Jenny Fickey.
What advice would you give to future graduates?
Definitely do what you want to do, because you’re going to end up doing it anyway. Don’t do it because of the money or because of whatever else, don’t leave your heart because of somebody else telling you that you can’t do it or it’s really hard, because you’re going to end up going back to what you love anyway.