Featured on Sep 17, 2012
"You can go further, both within and without, and don't waste a minute!"
A native Northern Californian, Janelle is new to the NYC tech scene and excited to become a part of it (though still missing the avocados and dry summer heat back at home). She's a recent Stanford CS grad, and is co-founder/CTO of CrowdJewel.
- Title: Co-Founder, CTO at CrowdJewel
- Age: 23
- Location: West Village
- Contact: facebook
CrowdJewel uses crowdsourcing to decide which jewelry designs to produce. What drove you to create CrowdJewel? What sparked your interest in the jewelry industry? Who are your favorite independent jewelry designers?
As a CS student who was fortunate enough to find herself in the heart of Silicon Valley, I watched all kinds of trends emerge in startup world throughout my undergrad years. I was most interested in the emergence of crowdsourcing platforms on the web. And as a female, I had always been a jewelry aficionado.
I hadn't thought of connecting those two together, though, until I met my co-founder Courtney. She had been toying with the idea of crowdsourcing jewelry design for some time before then. Courtney and I were introduced by one of my CS mentors earlier this year; I asked him if he knew of anyone working within the jewelry space, and he instantly knew who to send me to. The rest is history!
I can't remember a time when I was never interested in jewelry. As a kid, I loved draping myself with colorful, chunky necklaces, and stringing sparkly beads together to make new bracelets. I think it runs in my blood, too. The women in my family have kept and passed along heirloom pieces across generations; for example, a set of rings designed by my great-grandmother. I think there is a sort of universal language across jewelry designs around the world. They're more than just accessories; they are tradition, they are means of expression, they tell stories.
My favorite independent jewelry designers right now: Dana Lorenz, Nat Mauro and Cole Morrall.
Although New York might have humid summer heat and a lack of cheap and delicious avocados, it definitely has its benefits. What are two things about New York that you'd miss if you had to leave?
- The pace. As crazy as things can get in the city, I'm never, ever bored.
- The diversity. There are people in NYC from all over the place, with all kinds of experiences and interests. And because of that, NYC has become a place where everyone can find their niche.
As an entrepreneur, what is your biggest fear?
- The potential failure of Plan C, D, E... all the way up to Z. :-)