Inside her sunny studio, where the window gives a view to thick woods, Jennifer Verdun strings together a careful assortment of Czech glass and semi-precious gemstones. Her jewelry company, Magnolia Bough, explores the colors and themes in natural landscapes and literature, and transforms them into new artforms.
Distinct in its striking beauty, Magnolia Bough uses simple and dynamic beads and stones that create eye-catching jewelry. One of its most remarkable pieces, the ‘Icicle Party’ necklace, is sharp and cold with its black and white colors, and dangles with spiky pendants. It highlights the influences from nature, heritage, and culture that runs through Magnolia Bough jewelry, and mimics a boldness that dreamcatchers and African jewelry also emanate. Even as a Pennsylvania transplant, Jennifer’s Native American heritage and exposure to African culture from her childhood in the deep South inform her work.
Along with ‘Icicle Party,’ the STARSNOW collection features other nature-inspired jewelry that represent the blue and golden tones of wintry sunsets and melting snow, including the ‘Solar’ bracelet. Shining with twelve golden thorn-shaped beads between dots of blue and white, ‘Solar’ perfectly demonstrates the power of the sun and the beauty that encompasses a day on Earth. When one customer discovered the bracelet, she immediately recalled the journey she took to witness a solar eclipse and purchased ‘Solar’ as a token of her experience.
Customers highly anticipate the forthcoming release of Magnolia Bough’s collection based on the 19th-century American writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne. In three volumes, Jennifer designs “3D love letters” to her favorite Hawthorne works. The first volume will launch on May 1st 2020, the second in October 2020, and the third in early 2021. The addition of this collection, which contains necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, also shows Magnolia Bough’s business evolution; when Jennifer first started her business in 2013, Magnolia Bough only produced one-of-a-kind necklaces, but has since evolved into poignant, concentrated collections that customers now love and connect to.
Jennifer has also evolved as a business owner and jewelry maker and continues to fine-tune her craft. Since she joined her eforever group in 2018, Jennifer uses her peers’ outside perspectives and encouragement to stay engaged in her business development and outside of her own head.
“In the interest of being realistic, I start thinking, ‘Oh, but this could happen and that would be a problem.’ And then by the time I’ve spotted the potential problems, I’ve halfway talked myself out of something. But then I’ll check in with my group and they’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, would you please just do this already? Because you’ve been talking about it for two months. Just do it.’ And they say it in the most loving and kind ways, but they’ll be honest with me.”Jennifer Verdun, Magnolia Bough. Read her full testimonial here.
As Magnolia Bough continues to grow, Jennifer Verdun also stays true to her mission. An intellectual and nature lover herself, Jennifer wants to create jewelry for people who are curious about new subjects, caring of their community, and confident in themselves. At pop up events around southwestern Pennsylvania, Jennifer is able to meet these customers in person, and exchange the stories that her jewelry evokes.
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