Wrist it with Felicia inspires women and people of color to pursue their dreams

Zara Morgan, Contributing Writer

Felicia Jones shows the true definition of living out the American Dream through her jewelry business, Wrist It with Felicia: the Tuscaloosa River Markets newest jewelry vendor. 

Jones started Wrist It with Felicia in 2021 and expanded the business through word of mouth. Eventually, she was offered a spot at a pop-up shop, and it was here that Jones discovered the lucrativeness of selling her jewelry.  

“Her products are unique and made locally in Tuscaloosa. Her entrepreneurial spirit adds a lot to our market,” said Alexis Clark, the Tuscaloosa River Market’s city venues operations manager. 

Jones said she wanted to create her business to craft unique pieces for people that are one-of-a-kind, meaning she never makes the same piece of piece of jewelry twice.  

“I’m wanting things that are unique and personable and one of a kind. When you normally go shopping, everything is in bulk and mass production,” Jones said. “I wanted to start [a business] because I wanted things that symbolize and represent me.”  

Many of her bracelets are made of large and colorful beads in all different colors, shapes, sizes, designs and patterns. Jones also sells bracelets that come in UA colors as well as custom bracelets for individuals in Greek life.  

Jones makes necklaces made from thick ribbon and her signature large beads. Her earrings come in a variety of sizes, and Jones uses both beads and stones to create them.  

She said that many of her male customers decide to stack her bracelets in different ways depending on whether they want a dressy or casual look.  

“They want some that are a little bit dressier, they want something that’s casual, and then I have the guys who belong to fraternities, and they want something that represents their fraternity, whether it’s a college fraternity or social fraternity,” Jones said.  

Jones said that she imagines both men and women wearing her jewelry for all occasions.  

“I have things that are casual and [men] wear them every day. They love their bracelets. I have guys who are going somewhere special, like to a wedding or they’re going to church, and they want something really nice with their suits. So, I picture [people] wearing them everywhere,” Jones said. 

According to Jones, having products that you truly stand behind is a major key to succeeding in business. 

“Give somebody something that you will want somebody to give you,” Jones said. “That’s my motto for you. I give people something that I would love to wear.” 

For individuals who are looking at starting a business of their own, Jones said to start with research.  

“Do some research first on everything,” Jones said. “Do your research as far as your customer base and who you want to target.”  

Jones said even if there are similar products on the market, that shouldn’t dissuade someone from pursuing their goals.  

“Everybody’s unique, and they’re different,” Jones said. “So don’t let anybody discourage you. Follow your dreams.” 

While starting your own business can be very rewarding, Jones said it is not easy. 

“There are going to be days where you’re going to cry. When you wake up and cry, and you go to sleep,” Jones said. “When I first started, I got discouraged because nobody was really buying anything or patronizing me. It just takes one person that really loves what you’re doing to spread word-of-mouth. Just have great customer service and stand behind the product that you make.”  

During this past summer, Jones started collaborating at the Tuscaloosa River Market with Hope Kigango, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering. 

Kigango helps Jones make jewelry for Wrist it with Felicia in addition to making jewelry for her own business, Koii’s Kollection. Kigango makes necklaces, bracelets and waist beads. For both Jones’ and Kigango’s businesses, you can either buy from the existing stock or order a custom piece.  

Kigango said she creates and sells jewelry in order to empower others.  

“I want jewelry to be an immersive experience for everyone who wears it,” Kigango said. “I want it to be empowering for other women to look upon us and be like, ‘Oh, I can start my own small business.’” 

Kigango said she wants “people to really enjoy the jewelry that they wear and use it as a form of self-expression.” 

Ultimately, Jones wants readers to know that she loves making and selling jewelry.  

“The best part of this business for me is getting to meet and interact with new people from all walks of life,” Jones said. “My face lights up when they pick out a piece that uniquely speaks to them.”