At the age of 29 Jessica Rich has already accomplished more than most could hope to in a lifetime. Currently working as an actress and TV personality, Jessica (who is the niece of singer, Patti LaBelle) has always pursued her passion of helping people look like stars without spending a car note on an outfit with her "Style It Rich" segments online. But while clothing changes with the seasons, the right piece of jewelry will never go out of style.
In an exclusive interview with The Examiner Jessica talks about her new jewelry line, The Jessica Rich Collection, what inspired the switch from clothing to jewelry and how she plans on taking her brand to the next level.
Going back, talk about how you got into show business and what advice did you get that encouraged you to pursue your dreams?
Dad always said never go back on your dreams even though it may be hard, cause if you do a job that you don't like, it's not going to be worth living, so no matter how hard it gets if you're doing something you love it'll be worth it. And Patti, told me don't listen to the bad things people say about you cause it will break you down. Ignore it because know who you are.
Before your jewelry line, you had a clothing line. What made you decide to switch?
I started my clothing line last year and it kinda got a little expensive, making a line and getting samples made, it was a lot more than I thought it would be so after I found out the production cost I decided I wanted something more simple that can change with an everyday outfit. It's a lot easier for a woman to change jewelry than to change clothes, because clothes change based on the season but jewelry works regardless of the climate and that was my epiphany. And me being a style expert based on budgeting I like my stuff to be very inexpensive yet look very nice. I don't have anything that costs more than $80.
Your line has already had quite a bit of success but what is your ultimate vision?
I want to be the African-American version of Rachel Zoe. Simply put, She's a style icon. She has her own show and her own line and it's a terrific platform, so something like that is where I see myself. I'd love to build an empire like Jessica Simpson. Even beyond just fashion, I want to help people decorate their homes on a budget.
And how did the name 'Style it Rich' come about?
I got teased a lot in high school, people thought I was rich. I came from a single mom with two jobs and I'd be like, "I'm not rich." This is just stuff from Kmart. I just present it well. So fast forward, when I got out to LA and began pursuing a hosting career my hosting teacher Marki Costello said I have to have a brand, so I call it 'Style It Rich,' cause I style myself to where people think I'm rich but I'm not spending a thousand dollars on my clothing. So I do an online show and I blog about it to help people be at the top of their game regardless of their budget. I mainly focus on guys cause that's my passion, I love dressing men and showing what ladies like in them. Anybody can look good and my goal is to help people realize that, because with style comes confidence.