In 2011, Janice Forrester decided to tread the path that makes her heart sing. She has been dancing to her own rhythm ever since. That year Forrester, founder and lead designer at Jan's Accents, realised she was on to something with jewellery-making, after doing it for some time for friends and family.
The business, formalised in 2015, operated without a showroom for a while. A year later, with much trepidation, Forrester took the plunge and opened her first store on South Avenue. Now she has lovely digs at 92 Hope Road in Kingston.
Though her début products were jewellery pieces, Forrester always had plans to expand her offerings and aptly named her brand Jan's Accents, so as not to box herself in. “I knew, deep down, that even though I was only making jewellery at the time, I was going to expand my product offering way beyond that. Including my name in the business name seemed like a natural fit because the designs were so personal to me. The word 'accents' seemed like the best way to describe a range of items in a collective way,” she told All Woman Fashion (AWF).
Jan's Accents offers flat leather sandals (wedges are available on request) that are made in Jamaica by Jamaicans. The effortlessly chic design of the 'Lola' makes it the perfect foot candy for the fashionable minimalist. Nature lovers will appreciate the intricately crafted leaves and petals of the 'Ashra' and 'Zoetta'. Padded soles guarantee a comfortable wear, and Forrester says “comfort is a big part of our focus”.
Each pair is hand-crafted from neutral, bright and metallic coloured leather. “I have become quite proficient at making footwear (aided by her training at HEART Trust/NTA LEAP Centre), but jewellery is my first love. I get a real thrill out of jewellery design,” she explained.
Forrester admits her style and technique have changed over the years. “I started out making jewellery with beads until I met and fell in love with metals. Now I use a mix of metals, gemstones, leather, wood and shells as well as glass and other contemporary material.”
Other 'accents' include leather bags and belts as well as clothing to complete each look. With a new collection in the works, local and international shipping, and recently launched products for men, Forrester and her team of three are working assiduously to make a mark here in Jamaica.
Jan's Accents' retail outlet is located at Shop 7, 92 Hope Road, Kingston 6. The products can also be viewed on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter using @jansaccents. Telephone: 876 648-6415.