For Courtney Morris, Fortyfour Miles is an embodiment of her roots. Each piece of jewellery is embedded in romanticism, skillfully crafted by the 24-year-old in her home in Black River, St Elizabeth.
“I’ve lived in Black River, basically my whole life. I wanted my business to be close to home and close to my roots where the whole thing started. I named it Fortyfour Miles because the Black River is actually forty-four miles long,” she told BUZZ.
Morris started out making jewellery as a hobby. Her first piece was an earring she made as a memento of her grandmother after her passing.
Her family recognised her gift and started encouraging her to make more jewellery.
“When she died I kinda just wanted something that I could wear that was of her, so there was this pretty blouse and I used it to make some earrings, and that’s really when its started,” she said.
But this was just something she was doing part-time. Morris was studying literature at the University of the West Indies but found herself leaning more and more to her true calling.
“My designs come from within me.”— Morris
“I figured it’s my passion, and I should just try doing it full time when I’m young now, instead of choosing something else and then regretting it,” she said.
And so two years ago she decided to take the plunge fully into entrepreneurship. With each piece of jewellery Morris designs, she aims to create something that is unique, intuitive, whimsical and minimalist.
“My designs come from within me. Although I make bracelets and necklaces, normal pieces of jewellery that everybody makes, I think the style will always be different because I try and make sure that I am as authentic as possible, doing what comes to me naturally,” she said.
“I also think of the fact that there is beauty in flaws, imperfect, and irregularity so a lot of my pieces are not ‘perfect’. The shapes would be a little irregular and not always symmetrical,” she added.
Good times, bad times
Morris sells her jewellery locally and internationally for between $600 and $7,000.
Although she admits that she has encountered many challenges trying to get her business off the ground, she remains optimistic.
“There are rough times, and there are good times. It’s still a young business, so it’s growing so I have to have patience. It’s not fully paying me as much as I would like it to, but when you’re just starting out you kinda have to start from nothing and just work up,” she said.