Ole Miss Student Uses Flower Power to Build Her Own Business

jahdesigns
Kathleen Brewton, 22, from Augusta, Ga. poses in one of Harris’s flower crowns. Photo by Hanna Jalawan.

Strands of tan leather braided together with ribbon and faux flowers of pinks, purples and baby blues. That was the first flower crown Jordan Harris, a 21-year-old marketing major at the University of Mississippi, made.

She got the idea after attending music festivals for years. After her first festival, Wakarusa 2009, Harris was hooked on flower crowns. However, it was the summer of 2012 when inspiration struck her.

“I went to 7 different festivals throughout that summer, so funds for souvenirs and cute things like flower crowns, for instance, was low,” Harris said. “So one day before heading out to another music festival, I went to hobby lobby and got supplies to make my own.”

Initially only making crowns for herself and her friends, Harris eventually posted a photo of her crowns to Instagram, a popular social networking site, at the price of $15. She later made a page on Facebook promoting her products at https://www.facebook.com/JAHDesigns. 

Reaction to the photo led Harris to create, Jordan Ashleigh Harris (JAH) Designs on Etsy, a website where people can buy or sell vintage or handmade products from jewelry to dressers. The link to her online shop is http://www.etsy.com/shop/JAHDesignLand and that’s where the Oxford store Miss Behavin’ found her crowns.

It was the week before Double Decker in Oxford, Miss., when the store decided its theme for the weekend would be “flower power.”  They found JAH Designs and placed an order of 40 crowns.

“Double Decker weekend was a hit! Before the weekend even got there, all 40 were gone, so I somehow got them 25 more within a day and then 20 more on that Saturday,” Harris said. “I saw the opportunity, so definitely jumped on it.”

Now, Mackenzie Baldorossi, manager at Miss Behavin’, contacts Harris monthly to place orders.

“Right now the popular ones are reds and blues or just red and just blue, but she made some for Halloween and those were successful too,” she said. “I have every one. I’m obsessed with them.”

During the summer Harris was chosen to participate in a “craft show” hosted by the store, Libby Story, in Jackson, Miss.

“It was an honor and a huge day for me,” Harris said. “I brought flower crowns and some necklaces that I had been working on and was the best seller at the event!”

That day, Libby Story’s owner approached Harris and placed the first order. Harris has taken orders regularly since that event and is currently working on her second fall order of 90 flower crowns.

“Flower crowns are really popular right now and the fact that she can hand-make them gives each one personality,” said Amanda Keend, manager at Libby Story.

Since her first flower crown, Harris has made approximately 400.

Harris’ passion for music and the arts is at the root of her current success and she hopes to have a future in music, whether it’s working at a venue or owning one herself.

Story contributed by Ole Miss journalism student Hanna Jalawan, hjalawan@yahoo.com.

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