Thu | Jul 18, 2019

Fortyfour Miles of creativity

Published:Sunday | June 23, 2019 | 12:10 AMJessica Harrison - Gleaner Writer

Birthed from a desire to pay homage to her roots, Courtney Morris named her jewellery-making business Fortyfour Miles, which is the length of the Black River in St Elizabeth that runs through her hometown.

Having completed a bachelors in literature degree, the 23-year-old decided not to traverse the traditional route of immediately pursuing a masters degree and getting just any job. Instead, she chose to focus on her dreams of creating beautiful pieces that complement the style of anyone bold enough to indulge.

“It definitely wasn’t something I ever really considered before I started. Jewellery was just another way to create things. It kind of just fell into my lap and I ran with it, because I realised I enjoyed it,” she said.

THE PROCESS

Inspired by the environment, and using household appliances and random objects, the creative makes rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings from copper, aluminium, rocks, beads and hemp, along with a lot of sea glass, which she finds at a secret location on the coastline nearby her house.

“I don’t really know if my process is legitimate. I don’t do things the same all the time. Sometimes I’m lying in my bed and I get an idea for something, so I may get up and roughly sketch it so I don’t forget it, then I’ll make it. Other times, I just make what comes to me in the moment,” she said. “A lot of my process just involves winging it, and sometimes a piece turns out the way it does because I made a mistake along the way and had to adapt.”

CHALLENGES

“I face lots of internal challenges with my self-confidence and fears and anxiety, but I kinda just have to face everything head-on. Sometimes I just have to cry and feel my feelings and then move through them, because I know what I’m doing is important to me, and I can’t sabotage it,” she said.

Cash flow is an important aspect of every entrepreneur’s life. For Morris, she doesn’t have a steady income and her business is still growing. She understands the need for patience and determination.

“There are certain times of year when I get a lot of business, like around Christmas. But then there’s the slow season, when I start worrying about not earning enough, and not having work, and it’s around those times that I start to doubt myself,” she said.

ADVICE FOR FELLOW CREATIVES

For now, Morris is following her dreams and is essentially happy with what she is doing and is grateful for all the support from her circle of family and friends, who she could not have made it without.

“My advice for creatives attempting to follow their dreams would be to follow them if you can. A lot of the time their fear will be an indicator that they’re doing something important. I still have to tell myself that when fear creeps into my mind. I would also advise them to do it, even if they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. Most of the time I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing either, but it works out in the end.”

To get your hands on some Fortyfour Miles jewellery, visit Morris’ website and online shop at www.fortyfourmiles. com, or follow her on Instagram @44milesjewellery.

jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com