The thing that keeps creativity fresh yet disruptive is stepping outside of the box to create something from your mind and turning it into something tangible! It has always been said that a woman is not fully dressed until she’s added accessories! Accessories are like the icing on the cake in the getting dressed process as it pulls everything together and adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your outfit!

Courtney Morris is a 20 something Jewellery Designer who is known for her unique and expertly made metal wear pieces that range from Necklaces to Rings to Earrings! Jewelry Design is an art that has taken many forms throughout the years from the simple beadwork of ancient times to the sophisticated metalworking and gem cutting known in the modern-day and Courtney has found a way to master it.

44 Miles Jewellery is the name chosen for her line of hand-made Jewellery which she makes is “home-grown” in Jamaica and is picking up traction and making a name for herself in the Fashion Industry. 44 Miles Jewellery is for the woman is whimsical, intuitive and regular – they are “few of a kind” pieces as described by Courtney and is made for everyone who is perfect or not!

Did you always want to Design Jewellery?

Not really. It kinda just fell into my life. I started off making one pair of earrings for myself from a blouse that belonged to my late grandmother, and it blossomed from there.

What inspired you to launch your own brand and how did you come up with the name?

After making that first pair of earrings I was just inspired to make more because I realized I enjoyed it. I had a lot of encouragement from my family and friends as well, and I started small, selling to people I knew and it grew. I’ve always been into creating things, so this was just a natural thing I guess. It was a natural progression.

My brand actually wasn’t always called Fortyfour Miles. I started off with a different name (which will remain a secret) and I decided it didn’t quite fit and I wanted something a bit more original and personal, so with the help of my mother, I came up with Fortyfour Miles, which pays homage to my roots. I was raised in Black River, St. Elizabeth and have called it home since I was born, and the river that runs through the town (of the same name) is forty-four miles long. I thought it was a nice way to keep a little of myself in the business and to pay respect to where I come from and where it all started.

What is your brand’s signature?

I think it’s the intuitive and avant-garde quality of my pieces and the angular and irregular shapes I make in many of my designs.

Explain your design process and the favorite thing you’ve created?

I don’t think I can pick one favorite. I have so many pieces that I make and immediately want to hoard for myself. I try to make sure I like everything I put out. Some I like more than others but I can’t pinpoint a favorite. I guess I could pick the first pair of earrings I ever made because it’s where it all started and it connects to my late grandmother who I love and misses so much.

In terms of my design process, I kind of just goes with the flow a lot of the time. I don’t necessarily expect my process to stay the same forever, but right now I kind of just intuitively form shapes that come to me when I have the raw materials in front of me. Other times, I get ideas in my head of things I’d like to wear and the kind of design of come that way as well. Sometimes when I get an idea for a piece I’ll sketch it roughly and see how I can put it together, but a lot of my process is improvisation. A lot of the time I’ll start a piece not knowing exactly how I want the end product to be, but it usually works out, and when it doesn’t I try again.

 What is one important life lesson you’ve learned thus far since being in business?
That you don’t have to know everything to start something. A lot of what you will learn comes from doing. Sometimes you have to take a chance.

Finish the sentence … on the weekend you can find me …
On the weekend you can find me with the people I love.

Tell us about the scope of your work?

I make rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets (and sometimes anklets) from mainly copper and aluminum. I also use sea glass, beads, wood and cotton/hemp cord in many of my pieces.
Was it hard getting started as a young person in business?

Yes. It was pretty hard, but having supportive family and friends really helped. There were times I needed a lot of encouragement, so I’m grateful for everyone who helped to encourage me, and the people who continue to encourage me because I feel like I’m just at the beginning and it’s still not easy.

 What can we expect from 44 Miles Jewellery for spring 2019 and beyond?

Just more authentic and interesting pieces. I think I might branch off into something entirely new as well but I don’t want to give that away just yet.

 Do you think Jamaica is more accepting of creative careers like Fashion + Design?

I feel like nowadays creative careers are getting more visibility, and I’m seeing more and more platforms in Jamaica that are seeking to help careers like this thrive and grow. I also think that with this increased visibility more people are being encouraged to enter into this field and there are more avenues for young people to see that these creative careers are possible and lucrative.

Facebook  44 Miles Jewellery   | Instagram @44milesjewellery

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