Solana Beach jewelry designer learns the ropes of big retail while making name for herself in entertainment industry

By Claire Harlin

At only 27 years old, Solana Beach resident Jackie Nicole Brown has already achieved and overcome more than many do in their lifetime. In 2009, she launched a large-scale, nationwide jewelry company in which she managed big celebrity contracts and, in 2011, she starred as the “budget fashionista” on the Style Network TV show “Look For Less.”

Most challenging though, was when she went too big too quick with her former jewelry line that rose quickly when she acquired a celebrity clientele right off the bat, and saw it end with a stressful legal dispute with her former partner.

“This is like something Donald Trump would go through,” said Brown, who grew up in Vista, attended Cathedral Catholic High School and later earned a theater degree at the University of San Diego. “My attorneys keep comparing my case to Donald Trump, and it’s so weird to hear that.”

She added, jokingly, “It’s like I have 50-year-old problems right now.”

But Brown not only picked up the pieces, she came out even stronger when she kept on with her talent — designing jewelry — and launched a solo line called none other than Jacqueline Nicole Brown Jewelry (or “JNB”). She is the featured jeweler in all “7 For all Mankind” stores in the U.S., one of the largest jeans retailers in the nation. Her line is also in more than 220 other various stores, and she gets inquiries from new stores at least once a week, she said. Her online sales, which she said constitutes well over 1,000 units a month, is only icing on the cake.

“Right now I am regrouping, reestablishing and catering to clients from the previous business,” Brown said, adding that she has learned many lessons along the way, such as giving a lot of attention to her bigger clients, such as the multi billion-dollar “7 For All Mankind.” For example, the company reached out to Brown in May for leads on a handbag designer, and Brown took the initiative to work with a fellow designer friend on her own handbag prototypes.

“They are very particular. When they like something, they like it, and when they like a designer, they stick with that designer,” said Brown. “If they want handbags, I’m going to make handbags … It’s all about working on building those big relationships; that was a mistake, something I didn’t do in the beginning.”

Since launching JNB, Brown said she has less stores overall, but she has more reorders and has established better relationships with her clients — which she views as a success.

An actress at heart, Brown picked up jewelry-making in between acting gigs in L.A. several years ago.

“When I didn’t have acting work, I needed supplemental income that wasn’t serving tables because I needed to leave an open schedule for auditions,” Brown said. “My girlfriends were making jewelry and having jewelry parties. They were selling pieces for hundreds of dollars and I couldn’t afford that so I learned to make pieces I liked myself.”

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