Designers / Industry

How I Got Here: Lisette Scott Followed Her Own Voice and Found Jewelry


Lisette Scott, founder of Jam + Rico, says adaptability is one of the most important lessons she learned over the past 12 years as she worked her way through retail stores, up the rungs of name-brand fashion houses, and into the jewelry industry.

That flexibility is balanced by her willingness to push boundaries, ensuring her voice is heard in the most important decisions—like the time she had to talk her mother out of the idea that she should work at the post office for its stability, or the ill-fated college course Scott signed up for so she could become an educator like her aunts.

The way Scott tells it, she literally ran from that class to the university’s fashion design office and switched majors. Yes, she’d have to tell her mother about her choice. But that brief discomfort would be followed by a decade-plus of growth for Scott that resulted in her jewelry brand, Jam + Rico, and its legacy-building success.

“I learned that success often comes from taking risks and staying true to one’s artistic vision,” Scott says.

Jam Rico Claires
Lisette Scott’s Caribbean and Puerto Rico roots show in her jewelry sold at Claire’s, which features such shapes as palm trees, tropical flowers, and seashells.

“I chose fashion because it offered a unique platform for me to combine my passion for creativity and my fascination with jewelry. I saw it as an opportunity to bring my jewelry designs to life through fashion while creating a seamless blend of aesthetics.”

Scott recently marked one of her biggest milestones yet: collaborating with Claire’s to develop a Jam + Rico line for its stores. She says the assignment has been exciting for her a designer because it allows her brand to reach larger audiences.

“This collaboration aligns perfectly with our mission to make quality jewelry accessible to everyone,” Scott says.

Scott grew up in a Caribbean household in Brooklyn. She saw fashion everywhere, as the women in her neighborhood were always adorned from head to toe. She also remembers digging into her mother’s full jewelry box—a treasure trove of gems, unique pieces, and interesting designs.

“Those moments ignited my passion for jewelry and design, and they continue to inspire me to this day,” Scott says.

Jam Rico Sun Claires
You almost feel the warm rays with the Jam + Rico x Claire’s Lisette pendant ($49.99), a bold sun-inspired design in 18k gold plate.

Her first job was at a Brooklyn pottery store, where Scott says she learned how to manage inventory, create memorable visual merchandising, and elevate shoppers’ experiences.

“The job taught me the important of attention to detail, as even a small flaw in a pottery item could affect its value and customer satisfaction,” she says.

After graduating from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s in fashion and apparel design in 2011, she parlayed her college intern experience at companies including Donna Karan into a position as a design assistant for clothing brand Kimera, doing everything from creating mood boards to sewing to working with customers on fittings.

She moved into an assistant designer role at Tracy Reese in 2012, and the next three years were a whirlwind of sketching, creating original artwork for prints and packaging, and attending fashion shows nationally and internationally. Scott then joined Vince Camuto as an associate designer for its social occasion business, managing sample development, communicating with overseas factories, and working on alls aspect of the design process.

As a creative outlet, she developed Jam + Rico in 2016—making jewelry that would be affordable but high-quality. By March 2020 and the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Scott shifted from working for others to working for herself.

In 2021, Jam + Rico was selected for the first Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, a partnership between the Natural Diamond Council and designer Lorraine Schwartz. This recognition gave Scott the resources to build a fine jewelry line as well.

“I believe in creating pieces that not only enhance one’s beauty but also become cherished heirlooms” Scott says. “Quality, craftsmanship, and a deep connection with the wearer are at the core of my designs.”

Top: Lisette Scott aims to create affordable heirlooms for her Jam + Rico customers. (Photos courtesy of Claire’s)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine
Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out