Written by President ELLA
You ever meet someone so spiritually lit everything else they do shines, too? That’s Lani, founder of JLANI JEWELS, and every single piece of jewelry she creates. I met her in a perfectly lit room at Calvin Klein, when I worked in the Advertising department and her mom worked in Finance. Her mom had organized a pop up and she was selling the cutest gold rings that said things on them like “love” “prosperity” and “bestie”. I really just liked the girls’ jewelry *shrugs* then I ended up really just wanting to have lunch with her — and that’s how I anticipate tons of people will feel soon enough. Today, those little rings have turned into a collection of masterpieces; gold and silver melded together by beauty, passion and lots of black girl magic. I want y’all to meet Ms. Nesbit today, because you’re sure to love her tomorrow.
Lani’s is the story of the entrepreneur who looked around one day and realized she’d be much happier being happy. She was working for a shipping company when she was forced to do the unthinkable — to follow her dreams. I admire people like this who truly take what the world throws at them and say, “No thanks. I’d rather do it my way.” When I hear people going through lay-offs or are unhappy at work, I point them to Lani and share her story because resilience is the game. Half the battle is just showing up. Sometimes, we sit around and show up for someone else’s fights, but not our own. Lani did what she had to do to follow her heart; she put her time and effort into what she truly wanted to flourish in her life and hasn’t let go.
One of the most beautiful things I love about Lani is her mom 🙂 I met her through her mom (and gotta save up for the next time she texts me for a pop up) so I have no other perception than to say her mom supports her 1000%. I think this is important because I think brown girls need more representation like this. Many people of our communities come from broken homes for a variety of reasons and Lani and her mom and a practically a Sears portrait, for me. When you see someone loved like that by their family, it makes you want to love them like family, too.
I met Lani 8 years ago in that perfectly lit room and now, she’s perfectly lit! A while ago, we spent all night in the car talking about life (so I’m gonna go ahead and call her my friend) and she shared that she wanted to be in Miami. Today, Lani is in Miami and I overdose on brown girl pride every time she posts something. She’s had Beyoncé, Taraji P Henderson, Nicki Minaj and Issa Rae wear her jewelry, just to name a few. I’ve replaced and lost way too much JLANI JEWELS, but wouldn’t have it any other way. I wear it all the time! The gold never fades or rusts, so the only way it goes, is it has to get lost. They’re also eco-friendly & quality materials so they don’t give you rashes or those green rings. That “prosperity” ring I fell in love with years ago is long gone, but my mom still has the one I gave her, which says “bestie”. I’ve got necklaces in every weight and gold tone, studs in the shape of pistols and stars, ankh and grenade pendants and a custom dog tag inscribed with Proverbs 4:7 (Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding). The only thing I don’t like is that she was going to make me a belly chain this one time but the way my bank account was set up (lol)… I had her do the dog tag instead *shrugs*
That night we sat in my car, Lani and I also talked about “friends” like independent, NYC women on the come up usually do. Come to think of it, I think that long night was after Lani had come to see a show of my mine (I always wear my JLANI JEWELS on stage. You know. 35 chains.) … so, rightfully, I felt accomplished at the end of the night. Not because I purchased and wore her jewelry, but because I was able to share in a moment with her outside of all of that, as a human. She actually came out to support me and she doesn’t really get anything out of it except what? Keep a customer? I’d have bought her stuff anyway lol.
Check her out cuz, not only is her product dope, but so is she. I let my future hubby know that my ring should be customized by JLANI JEWELS cuz she do diamonds, y’all (lol). I’m just writing this post because Lani is an actual leader and I really want you all to meet her; get ahead of the wave/fad/trands and support. They say you are the sum of the 5 closest people to you and I really admire this girl. No, we don’t talk on the phone, like ever. I just like her pictures on Instagram when I see them. But yes, I would pick up her call immediately as I can. Yes, I root for her all the time. And yes, if I were stranded on an island, they would find me with my solar powered radio, listening to any and all Jay-Z tracks with all my JLANI JEWELS chains on.