We all want to make a statement when we pick our accessories, whether with a large statement necklace, cocktail ring or even a simple pair of earrings that accents your outfit just right. Whether the item is large or small it makes a statement and speaks to your personal style, vision and boldness. Riot Boutique is just the place you need to purchase from to add bold statement piece to your wardrobe! Riot Boutique is owned by Jenae Jones a Los Angeles native and lover of self expression and entrepreneurialism Take a moment to see what propelled Jenae to take the leap to start RIOT's the world over.
Why was Riot Boutique created? and what is the vision of Riot Boutique?
RIOT is actually my second baby. When I was in college (Bennett College for Women) I started another company with my friend called Soul Kisses while taking a class called "Global Threads". In this class we learned about women in 3rd world countries and how they used their crafts to make a living. One of the aesthetics I learned was couching (beadwork). From that I taught myself how to make jewelry. I spent the remainder of my undergraduate years making jewelry and selling to classmates and other women in the community. After college I really didn’t feel that designing and crafting jewelry was a realistic life goal and I decided to get a "real job"...LOL. Anyway, after working as a corporate event and marketing manager for about 6 years I lost my job in May. This required me to do some serious self-reflection. I ended up making jewelry to pass the time (couldn’t get called back for ONE job interview) and people wanted to buy it. I decided to make a website and sign up for some trade shows. From there everything has been flourishing organically.
The vision of RIOT Boutique is to offer fabulous and affordable accessories to the girl that doesn't give a damn what people think. She dares to be different. In addition, RIOT offers accessory styling to clients for photo shoots and red carpet appearances.
Tell me about yourself? Where are you from? What's your educational background? What is your fashion background? Has fashion always been an integral part of your life?
I'm from South Central LA, born and raised. I have always enjoyed creative activities. As a kid I would spend hours with my best friend choreographing routines to Kris Kross (LOL) and then making outfits to wear while we'd perform for our bears/dolls. I get my creativity from my mother. She taught me how to make something out of nothing. She could piece an outfit together with little to no money and look fabulous. I also get my love for color from her. She's a fashionista and doesn't even know it. I went to Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC right after high school. I earned a B.A. in Business Administration there.
I am actually married to my high school sweetheart. We have been together for 13 1/2 years. No babies yet, but we have a dog named Sasha Fierce.
Who are some of your favorite accessory designers that are similar in style to what is offered by Riot Boutique?
If I had to choose a mainstream designer, I’d say Betsey Johnson. Her style is super funky and fun. I also really like Zelle Haus, her work pushes the limits. I like how she thinks.
Who are the designers/creators of the items at Riot Boutique?
I design and create most of the accessories that I carry, and I also paint the backpacks. However, as a boutique I also carry pieces that I do not make. I do not do any soldering or welding, so some pieces I am not able to create yet. But if its hot its hot, and we will carry it.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
Yes. I believe that all women are artists in their own way. We are all so unique and multifaceted. It doesn't matter if you are a chef, a designer or a homemaker. We all have to sprinkle some creativity on whatever it is we are doing, and that is art.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Architecture, fabrics, nature and random stuff that goes through my brain. I like patterns and I like odd things. I really do dare to be different.
How much work has been but into bringing your vision to light?
OMG Girl you just don’t know. After losing my job, I have literally been working almost every day. I have been trying to expand my brand as quickly as possible. I love designing jewelry and running my company. I was born to have this entrepreneurial freedom. I am so happy (and tired). :)
What was the most difficult part of establishing Riot Boutique?
I still feel that the most challenging part is gaining exposure. I would like to gain some recognition as a designer (which takes time) that can create custom pieces on set specifically for whatever look you're going for. I work fast, and my work the bomb.
What level of success do you wish to reach with Riot Boutique?
I am planning get some pieces mass produced within 12-18 months, and eventually have placement in stores across the country. Short term goals include boutiques and other small businesses, long term goals include department stores and large chains. I would also really like to be known as an accessory designer/stylist that can accommodate any the curvy girl as well. My pieces can fit a larger neck, finger and wrist. And as a curvy girl, it is so hard to find pieces that fit my larger fingers and wrist.
What are the next steps for Riot Boutique?
The next steps are to finish my business plan (yea, it aint done yet) and finalize my schedule for 2013. I am planning to vend again during festival season here in the LA area, and this spring I am planning a cross country road trip where we pop up in different cities to let customers shop in person. Since the boutique in based online, many of my customers are forced to place an order to see the quality of my work. I want to visit 6 cities in two weeks and launch my marketing campaign by starting RIOTs in Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Greensboro, DC, NY and the Bay. Everything is tentative right now, but that is the plan. ROAD TRIP!!
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
www.fierceriot.com, IG-RiotBoutique, Twitter - Areyoujuicy, FB-RIOT
As you can see Jenae Jones and Riot Boutique are well on there way to establishing themselves as creative force to be reckoned with and one to keep on your radar. Are you ready to start a RIOT?