Interview With Grad Behind LA Jewelry Line Congés
FIDM Grad: Jasmine Penna
Major: Product Development
Business: Congés is a fine jewelry collection founded in December of 2014.
What makes Congés unique? I work on creating pieces to awaken what a person feels they are missing or to amplify the good things they are currently experiencing in life. I believe stones have the power to enhance courage, self-betterment, open-mindedness, and forgiveness. My pieces are meant to remind you that you are and should (always) feel safe, lucky, and loved. If you are one and true to yourself, then nature will treat you the same. All is one and one is all.
How did you come to enroll at FIDM? I was set on becoming an occupational therapist with nutrition as a second degree. This was driven by my father and everything I had learned from doctors because of my diabetes. Then I got very sick with meningitis and things changed. I couldn’t walk for a good six months. I was at my grandmothers house and just started deconstructing and reconstructing vintage clothes, and I loved it. While I was getting better, my father suggested that I might want to do something that I was more passionate about and that "helping people doesn’t have to be through becoming a therapist.” We went to FIDM for a meeting and I was beyond excited to go to school and work on projects.
How did FIDM help prepare you to run your own business? I did not have a single bad day while I was there and was inspired every day. I got to create, and it taught us all aspects of the business. I feel that it prepped me for what I am doing today. Within the product development major, you learn everything: sourcing, sewing, business planning, forecasting, allocating, and more. Before I graduated, FIDM had sent me out to three different interviews. They constantly had events to network from within the industry. We were always able to get the real world perspective and go behind the scenes of people's success. I have regularly visited the amazing faculty since graduation.
How did you come to name your line? Congés is French for "to be on vacation," which is precisely why our collection is ideal for those who lead busy, full lives. Our accessories allow those wearing them to escape from the grind of their daily lives, essentially becoming engulfed in the serenity transpired on vacations. Our brand inspires travel as well as the ideal, "to think free, is to live free."