JENNIFER Jhala St Louis’ effervescent personality is like a warm ray of sunshine. She’s the CEO of Poetry Kisses, a budding local business that creates handmade jewellery. She loves art immensely and it’s clear that it means the world to her without which she would be incomplete.
In an interview with THE VOICE last week Jennifer spoke fondly about her love for what she does.
“I’ve been making jewellery for as long as I can remember,” she said to me cheerily.
She was a burst of fresh air and I couldn’t help but smile.
“I think the thing for me is I’m someone if I can’t find what I’m looking for, I might as well try to create it. (I wanted) something to reflect my taste; I like a lot of bold jewellery and bold colours and it was difficult for me to find it in Saint Lucia so I took it upon myself (to create what I love),” she added.
She has a unique approach when it comes to making art and it works out splendidly.
According to her, “I love the aspect where I could just create things; like taking ordinary things that persons wouldn’t use. I like thinking out of the box; using a lot of our local materials: seeds, beads, can openers, bottles, etc. I (even) made an entire piece with a tablemat,” the young entrepreneur shared.
She continued: “I’m inspired by every single thing; even a night out or (a trip) to the beach. I’d pick up a few shells, sea glass and by the time I get home I have a whole new piece.”
If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary (or other special occasion) you’re in luck; you can rent Jennifer’s spectacular pieces at an affordable rate.
“Right now I’m offering this basically for persons who want to do photoshoots— we’ve been featured in a lot of birthday photos. If you like the pieces but you don’t want to commit to it, you just rent it out and take a couple of photos,” she said.
Creating her art is not always easy however.
“Sometimes a couple of weeks go by and I feel like I’m not doing as much as I should be doing, but at the same time it just takes one spark or one moment and then I forget to eat and sleep; I’m just working and putting out stuff. I want to finish it, burn the midnight oil and get it out there while I have the inspiration,” the artist revealed.
If you ask her customers, they’ll tell you her work is simply magnificent but sometimes Jennifer believes otherwise. It’s something she’s working on she admitted.
“It’s different from just being in sales; with sales if you work for someone you’re selling their product whereas when you’re working for yourself, you’re not only selling a product, you’re selling your product. It’s taken me a lot to kind of not be so critical or hard on myself because we’re our biggest critics,” she confessed.
“(Sometimes) you’re seeing all the mistakes and all the things in it that you don’t like, whereas somebody just loves it and they take it and appreciate it for what it is when they purchase it. (Making art has) taught me a lot of self-acceptance and just kind of trusting myself and knowing what I’m supposed to do,” she added.
She’s incredibly gifted and does a bit of everything.
“I paint, I do a lot of sewing, I sing—I do a lot of different things so I’m always immersed in art. My eternal struggle was trying to find all the things that I love doing (and wondering) how do I make it work for me or how can I actually do something that I can make a business out of. I think I have a comfortable marriage with what I’m doing right now,” she said.
“I work from home but I do pop up every now and again. I have one or two retailers (one is Rissy Kouture) and I’m looking for more just so that I could get the exposure that I need. We have our website as well poetrykisses.com and social media. I’m available on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and everything. I’ve kind of delved into merchandising as well. Just like with my necklaces, I’ve taken my artwork (paintings) put them onto shirts, backpacks and these different things so you get a little bit of everything,” she added.
A graduate of St. Joseph’s Convent and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Jennifer wants her business to become a household name.
“I want to support myself and my family doing the things that I love to do,” she said.