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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Janet Fredman - The Young Woman Who Shunned Medical School For a Career in Jewelry Making

Meet Zambia's Janet Fredman, the young woman who shunned a career in medicine for jewelry designing. This female entrepreneur who runs a jewelry making business, Janet Fredman Designs, decided to embrace her creativity and turn her love of handmade designs into a flourishing business.

Despite her country's rich availability of gold and gemstones, Fredman settles for regular everyday materials such as wood, seeds and leather to make her pieces. This eventually results in a very unique collection of rings, bracelets and necklaces. She says a visit to a Cape Town jewelry shop inspired her to launch her business in January 2014, a decision which has provided both a rewarding and challenging experience.

"When I  first started making jewelry, it started as a hobby", recalls Fredman. "I started making jewelry out of beads, and then later went to study as a goldsmith. I came back and incorporated what I learned with Zambian materials to make contemporary Zambian jewelry." Still in her 20s, Fredman has impressed many with her success, but establishing a new business at a young age she says is never easy. "Business has been going OK", says Fredman. "Sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's high , I'm still trying to find my way, what to do, the how, the do's and the don'ts; still trying to figure it out."

Her designs Janet Fredman Designs has the appearance of a high value retailer, but it's this very quality that has led some people to question the legitimacy of her work. They're like 'you're young, did you really make this?' or 'maybe you bought and maybe you're selling'" she says. Nevertheless, Fredman remains unfazed. On her plans for her business, she says, "The hopes for my business is to grow it, so it becomes an empire, a jewelry empire everyone will be talking about."

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