Meet the Designer: Jennifer Brousseau
Affectionately referred to as 'Diesel',This self proclaimed momprenuer uses a special blend of humor, strength and humility to power herself through any challenges life throws at her. This powerful energy is infused into her beautiful line of fashion-forward jewelry that takes on a fine jewelry look and feel. Meet Jennifer Brousseau, half of the dynamic duo that makes up the Alexys Ryan jewelry brand. We had a chance to sit with this momboss and wanted to know more about the magic behind the mayhem.
What inspired you to become a jewelry designer?
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a jewelry designer. I hold that job title in such high regard! What I see jewelry designers do every day is inspiring, but far from my day-to-day. However, I do enjoy providing creative input and I consider myself to be a very creative person. Creativity is expressed in many different ways. Some creative souls can craft, paint or knit, but many of us showcase our creative outlet by problem solving and thinking outside the box. That’s where my creativity shines. Alone time is limited these days to draw or knit as I’m a full-time working mom.
I had so much fun creating the Alexys Ryan jewelry line as a direct reflection of finding creative ways to save time, such as the magnetic clasp on our bracelets.
Tell us about your jewelry background.
I went to school at URI and graduated with a B.S. in Science for Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. I specialized in historic costume and art.Who would have thought I’d end up working in jewelry and focused on the forward and innovative trends in the market?!
I got involved in this industry as a professional after having working in apparel manufacturing for about 10 years after college. The cross-over to jewelry manufacturing happened almost without skipping a beat! There are so many parallels between apparel and jewelry development including trend, timelines, processes, and even sometimes resources and buyers!
How do you hope to make your customers feel when wearing your jewelry?
I hope to make our customers feel empowered, recognized, stylish all at the same time. Quite often the demands of the family, the job, the relationships and responsibilities we have can strip us of these feelings. It’s important to be reminded.
Why did you decide to create this line?
We created this line because we wanted to do something for us. To step out from behind a private label and design and make what we want and what we believe in. The best part is that we get to do it together. As a team. I’m so proud to be a part of such a strong message.
What does being a 'Mompreneur’ mean to you?
‘Mompreneur’ is about balance and finding the right balance for me. Mine is not going to look the same as the next woman’s and that is ok. I think that we all wear many hats. I’ve learned to love the fact that my life is so dynamic and always changing. The challenges and pressures of working full-time and partnering to run a household can be overwhelming at times. I rely on a strong network of family and friends – and yoga!
What is the most difficult aspect of balancing work and family life? The most rewarding?
Most difficult is probably not being able to control so many parts of it. I need to work around so many other people’s and businesses' schedules all the time. It can be hard to keep track and keep all the balls in the air. We find ways to make it happen! This is where that creativity kicks in! ;)
The most rewarding is feeling like I’m a better “me” because of it. I appreciate so much more about life because it’s so fragile.
If you weren't a jewelry designer what would be your dream job?
Ok so we covered that I’m not exactly a jewelry designer…but I think I’m living the dream job right now. Do I wish I had a little more time for me? Sure I do. But that’s normal. I’m passionate about what I do and am enjoying it as much as I can!
Who is your best friend and why?
This is a tough one because I am so lucky to have so many close friends! Lex and I have obviously become so close over the past 5 years. I cannot imagine doing this job without her in my life! But I do have a dear friend – my oldest friend – Jodi. She and I met in kindergarten and have maintained “best friend” status since the day we met. She and I have lived through a heartbreaking move away from each other in 3rd grade, births, deaths, living together, boyfriends, marriages, all the ‘firsts’, all the ‘lasts’, and so so so much more. We are connected on a level that I don’t think many people come across in their entire lives. I treasure this friendship from the center of my core.
What is the last random act of kindness you completed?
A simple one but I passed a grocery cart to the next person behind me before grabbing one for myself. She seemed to be in a rush and grateful for it!
What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I want to leave behind a legacy of doing well by doing good. I believe in this for all aspects of life.
What lessons do you want your children to learn from your example?
I want my children to learn how to be humble, while at the same time understanding how to be proud. I want them to know it takes hard work to get what you want in life, everything is earned. I want each of them to understand the importance of health – body, mind and soul – it takes the health of all three to be truly healthy. And finally I want them to know how to love and be loved.