Local entrepreneur Jessica Preston, a Pepperdine University graduate, has recently embarked on a mission to help furry friends one bracelet at a time. A few weeks ago she started ‘Furever Luv’ in order to help raise money for local animal shelters. Her handcrafted bracelets make the perfect accessory while helping a great cause. Patch sat down with Jessica to learn a little more about her drive, ambition and goals for her new-found venture.
Agoura Hills Patch: How did you get into making jewelry?
Jessica Preston: In 2009 after I graduated college I wanted to start my own company. My father said the only way to do that was to start at 'the bottom' working minimum wage. So I took a job at a small boutique and learned about retail working as a sales associate. From there I got the idea to get into the jewelry business.
Patch: How long have you been making jewelry?
Preston: I started making jewelry in 2010. Growing up I knew nothing about it, so once I started my own company I had to teach myself everything. In 2011, I became very ill with a virus and couldn't do much with my days and nights. I watched a YouTube video on how to make stretch bracelets one weekend and from there I couldn't stop making bracelets. I loved that I could be so hands-on and it became the one thing that made me feel better.
Patch: What was motivation to helping animals?
Preston: I have a 5-year old chocolate Labrador retriever named TJ. He is the light in my life. Loving him has made me see deeper into animals and their needs. The thing about animals is they can't speak for themselves. As humans we can say "I am hungry" or "I don't feel well" to communicate our needs, but animals cannot do that. They can't call someone if they are being mistreated and they can't make money to rent an apartment. It’s our responsibility to take care of animals and love them.
Patch: What are your goals for the sales?
Preston: I hope to positively contribute to shelters through donations. I want shelters to be able to have enough funds for medical needs, food, shelter, etc. for their animals. Not only that, I want them to be able to effectively reach out to their community for pet adoptions.
Patch: Which shelters are you working with?
Preston: We give 10 percent of all profits to the shelters. I am currently working with and Malibu Pet Companions. I hope to expand to shelters all over the United States.
The bracelets, retailing for $29, are currently sold online through the FureverLuv Etsy site, or you can visit the website for more information. Additionally, they are being sold locally at J Girl in Westlake Village. If you are interested in more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.