What started out as a hobby has turned into a full-time jewelry business for local artist Jessica Crouch, whose company LRae is growing by leaps and bounds. Celebrating 16,000 sales and counting, Crouch’s designs are getting attention from jewelry enthusiasts in Cheatham County and as far away as Canada. Her family has been a key part of her past, present, and future in jewelry.
She learned about the joy of making something with her own hands early on from her mom, who is also an artist. “My mother taught me to appreciate art in all forms and from that my love of painting and jewelry-making spawned. While attending college I picked up jewelry making as a hobby. For the past eight years it has been my full-time job,” Crouch said.
Inspiration comes from her life. A night of stargazing with her husband and her seven-year-old twins a few weeks ago led to her newest designs. “My husband remarked on how often we take for granted the beauty in front of us. All that night and next day, I designed and created with this in mind,” she explained.
Her new Celestial Collection was the result. It’s “a reminder that simple moments like pointing out constellations with your children are really to be cherished and valued,” Crouch said. She is also currently working on a children’s line of jewelry.
Her family is a key part of testing the durability of her jewelry, too. Once a new design is finished, “I let my daughter wear the piece around. If she can’t break it, it has passed my quality test. I want to make jewelry sturdy enough to hold up to life, be that kids tugging it or running errands, it has to survive the day,” she said.
While working with metals has been a large part of her art education and experience, Crouch said leather is her newest challenge. “I could not find a finished tassel from a supplier that was the quality or design that I had in mind. I had to find a leather supplier and teach myself how to make them to achieve the look I was going for.”
Customers can find Crouch’s designs at local retailers in Franklin, Tenn., and on her website, and also social media. She recently began advertising on Instagram. Now that her children are older, Crouch also plans to participate in more shows. This fall she will have a booth at both Art in the Park in Kingston Springs and Music on Main in Ashland City.
To learn more about LRae Jewelry, check out Crouch’s website at https://lraejewelry.com/. Her Instagram is l.rae_jewelry.