November 1, 2013
JNSBL fuels Peace-Is of Bianca
Bianca Bartley, a beneficiary of JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), introduces JNSBL general manager, Philip Bernard (centre), and Donovan McFarlane, president, Jamaica-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, to her jewellery collection, Peace-is of Bianca, during a display at a luncheon hosted by JNSBL at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last month. - Contributed
For this JN Small Business Loans client, Bianca Bartley, creating and crafting jewellery, and designing furniture and décor, is not just business. Each item of handcrafted and custom-made jewelry captures the essence of her spiritual consciousness.
"Peace-is means so many different things. It's pieces of me, pieces of other designers, who have influenced me," Bianca relates.
She has been in business for a few years. However, already, her work has been acclaimed by many local and regional authorities in fashion, and she was recently named 'Jewellery Designer of the Year 2012-2013' by a local newspaper.
Her often-improvised pieces reflect a natural, yet sophisticated sense of beauty and fashion.
"I work with a lot of brass, because it's all about fashion, and a lot of people don't want to spend a ton of money on jewellery," she explained.
However, the media she works with in her home studio in St. Andrew is not limited to brass. Bianca also has an affinity for gold, platinum, sterling silver and offers rhodium-plating, white gold, yellow gold and rose-gold plating.
"We do basically anything our collectors want," she said "If someone wants a watch designed, we can do it or, if someone wants a wedding ring, we can do it," she says. "We also do a lot of repairs and jewellery reconstruction where we redesign and, sometimes, combine existing pieces that our collectors own; but, we also create pieces that suit the taste of both men and women and we have a whole range of styles," she explained.
In the Corporate Area, her handcrafted jewellery is on display in Swiss Stores, Harbour Street, downtown Kingston and at KERRY Manwomanhome, South Avenue, St Andrew. The Boutique Resort, Rockhouse Hotel and Spa, Negril's West End in Westmoreland is the island's third exclusive retailer of Peace-is of Bianca.
Bianca discovered her talent for jewellery designing in the same way many entrepreneurs discover their talent, during a moment of crisis. She was getting dressed for a party and realised she had no earrings to accessorise her outfit.
"I remember, last year, it was coming on to Christmas and I was coming out of the slow period and recovering from a big whop at customs. I needed to restock and I could not get funding from my bank and I really don't like to approach friends and family for assistance," she said.
The loan officer at a commercial bank recommended that she should try JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL).
"JNSBL was my saviour," Bianca declared.
"I took a chance and I went to them. I got the loan without any hassle, and I was able to see myself through the Christmas season," she related.
She said the process of accessing the loan helped her to better understand how to finance her business more effectively, and she was able to expand her operations over the Christmas season.
"Her products are quite creative and her business model is sound," commented Philip Bernard, general manager, JNSBL.
"Her enterprise represents the type of vision and commitment to quality that we want to see in manufacturing. We did not hesitate to provide her with the loan funds."