Jennifer Fisher’s jewelry is an extension of the designer’s own personality—it’s vibrant and bold yet disarming and approachable. And though she experimented with handmade jewelry as an eight-year-old (crafting a line of earrings with the help of her babysitter), her first official foray into jewelry was inspired by the birth of her son, which came after Fisher scaled significant medical hurdles. At age 30, the Santa Barbara–born designer was diagnosed with a desmoid tumor on her chest wall. Though it shrank with treatment, doctors said she could never safely bear a child. “When [my husband and I] wanted to have children, my oncologist said, ‘Absolutely not, your tumor grows from estrogen, you need to adopt or get an egg donor.’” So, when Fisher safely bore her son, Shane, she wanted a talisman to commemorate the occasion.
“People were giving me gifts to represent my son that I wouldn’t wear. It was ‘mom jewelry’ that just didn’t reflect my personal style,” Fisher says. “It had taken three years to have this baby, and I wanted something with his full name—not a teeny-tiny necklace.”
After combing New York’s jewelry district, Fisher had a dog tag inscribed with her son’s full name and strung it on an 18-karat-gold link chain. She wore the custom pendant on photo shoots while working as a stylist, and it soon caught the eye of crew members and celebrities. When Uma Thurman wore the necklace on the cover of Glamour magazine in 2006, things began to take off.’
“I think people are tired of seeing celebrities’ paid sponsored posts…people respond to what is actually legitimately real, and that sells.”
In the subsequent years, Fisher has become known coast to coast for her bold-but-still-totally-wearable hoop earrings, bangles, and charm necklaces (clients can customize the latter themselves with letters, symbols, and gems via her website’s interactive “Necklace Builder”). “People are always going to have milestones in their lives that they want to represent through jewelry,” Fisher says.
But Fisher isn’t content to rest on her charms. Her personal approach to jewelry is echoed in her social media presence. Recently, Fisher posted photos of meals she had cooked and seasoned and was inundated with intense follower interest, compelling her to expand her brand’s offerings to include unique low-sodium spice blends. It is a venture that, like her custom jewelry pieces, connects to an individual experience; Fisher manages a thyroid condition by being mindful of her sodium intake and eating healthfully.
Today, her Instagram page has nearly 300,000 followers and has become a steadfast way for Fisher to test new ventures and engage with clientele, both new and existing.
Muse spoke with Fisher about keeping things real and how her followers are responding.
How do you express your own personality on your brand’s Instagram? Do you choose and post pics yourself, write captions, and respond to follower comments?
I do all of that. I make an effort to ensure my social media is just us in our real lives day to day. It’s my office life and my life at home with my husband and kids—it’s me walking my dog and doing the most mundane tasks. It’s just real. My Instagram stories are snippets of my life. I don’t plan them ahead. I take my own photos and I post what I want when I want, and that seems to work best.
Generally, what do you see followers engaging with most on your social platforms—photos of product, or photos of you with the product?
My followers are constantly engaging in photos of me with the product. I expect to post a photo of a huge celebrity and it get a ton of likes, but then I post a picture of myself in a t-shirt and chains, and A: We sell more product from that, and B: We get more likes from that.
Have you seen engagement on social media translate to product sales?
Yes, I’ve seen it! More so when I post photos of real people or myself over celebrities, because people know that most celebrities are paid and [followers] are used to seeing celebrities with a lot of other designers. We don’t pay and never have; our celebrity following has been completely organic and I believe our customer is aware of that. I think people are tired of seeing a celebrity’s paid sponsored posts and even an editor’s paid sponsored posts. I think that people respond to what is actually legitimately real, and that sells.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten?
It didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me years to do this, and I always say, “If I had a dollar for every time someone told me no…” You just can’t take it personally.
I remember one person said, “Know what you do, and do it really well.”
When you’re starting out, it’s important to realize that if you [encounter] one person who is not so nice, another 10 of them are going to be lovely. You have to keep moving.