By: Stephanie Scott
Photos by: Deniece Griffin
“Entrepreneurship is being a creator and the parent of a brainchild that is a reflection of what you want in your life.”
– Jeanine McDonald
Jeanine McDonald is a Social Entrepreneurship major expecting to graduate in Spring 2019. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to help people inspired her to launch her jewelry line, catered to women of color, with the purpose to affirm their faith and belief in their dreams.
Where does the name, Suzi Soma, come from?
I was inspired by two books –“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, and another book on Hinduism. In “Brave New World”, “Soma” is the name of a mind-numbing drug the government gives people to nullify pain. In the Hindu religion “Soma” is the plant of the Gods. The juxtaposition between the dream world and reality inspired me, because I want my brand to inspire people to live their dreams.
How did you start Suzi Soma?
I started Suzi Soma two years ago. Chokers were very popular at the time and I knew that I wanted create something that people would like. I did some research, I went out and bought supplies, perfected my craft, and created my social media pages and website.
How did you learn who your target customer was?
I identified my target customer by wearing my jewelry out and seeing what kind of responses the different designs were receiving. As a designer, I find that the things I like to wear are the same things my customers like to wear. I had a good idea of what benefit I wanted my company to provide to my customers. I want my customers to feel a certain way — limitless.
What is your mission for Suzi Soma?
My mission is to empower women, specifically of color, to have faith, focus, and fun. I want them to feel limitless and dream bigger. I use crystals in my jewelry because each crystal that I use has a different healing power and effect. When one of my customers wears my jewelry, I want her to be inspired to live out what the crystal she is wearing affirms. I also write an affirmation for my “Dreamgirls”– which is what I call my customers– in their “Pillow Packets”. I gift wrap my chokers in a way that looks like a pillow. Dreams are a huge theme within Suzi Soma.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is being a creator and the parent of a brainchild that is a reflection of what you want in your life. Everything that you give and put into your brainchild is what it will become.
Check out Jeanine’s chokers on suzisoma.com