Featured Alumni Entrepreneur: Erica Bernstein ’14

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ERICAIMG_5832Who knew that selling trend-setting jewelry would develop from a casual experiment into a full-time business for Erica Bernstein ’14 after graduating from Syracuse University.

Bernstein is the founder and CEO of JewelErry, LLC, a retail and e-commerce trendsetting jewelry and accessories business designed to meet the needs of college students while giving back to charities important to her customers. Twenty-three-year old Erica found an avid following for her concept while attending Syracuse University.

Seeking an outlet for her creativity and education in entrepreneurship studies, Bernstein began designing and selling jewelry at her sorority’s events, giving a percentage of the proceeds to support the sorority’s favorite causes, such as breast cancer and pediatric aids. Her products ranged in price from $5 to $10 and represented trendy styles based on ideas and symbols of popular culture that resonated with college students.

She soon began to receive calls from other campus sororities at Syracuse asking if she could host a sale in their sorority houses. Before she knew it, non-greek organizations on campus wanted her to host sales to support their missions as well. Word spread fast, and sororities from other campuses started to call her. Clearly, Bernstein needed to start thinking big. She had discovered a niche: college students on rural campuses looking to express themselves through affordable designs while also feeling that their purchases are contributing to important causes.

Faced with this surge of interest, yet still a student herself, Bernstein looked for ways to capitalize on this momentum and opportunity. She began contracting with sororities across the country to host trunk shows to benefit their philanthropies. She would mail them a kit containing merchandise, displays, pricing lists and marketing materials, and they would send her back anything that did not sell, along with a check to cover the sold items, less a 20 percent donation to their charity.

Upon graduating from Syracuse in May, 2014, with a B.F.A. in photography with a minor in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, Bernstein jumped right into the expansion of her business, forming an Limited Liability Corporation and launching an e-commerce platform.  Using the knowledge she gained at Syracuse through IT, design, marketing and business courses, she designed her trademark and logos, established her corporation, and began creating marketing materials to establish her website and brand.

Today, one can purchase any of Bernstein’s constantly evolving and transformative products, which include affordable costume and fine jewelry, accessories, college spirit winter wear and related items at www.JewelErry.com. College students throughout the United States are likely to run into Bernstein at their student unions and sorority houses during one of her trunk show road trips.

Connect with Erica about all things jewelry, retail, art or travel:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericataylorbernstein

Website: www.JewelErry.com

Email: Erica@JewelErry.com

Erica Bernstein

Erica Bernstein

Erica Bernstein is the founder and CEO of JewelErry LLC, a retail and e-commerce trendsetting jewelry and accessories business designed to meet the needs of college students while giving back to charities important to her customers. Bernstein is a 2014 graduate from Syracuse University, with a B.F.A. degree in photography and a minor in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises from the Whitman School of Management. She was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi and served as the senior photographer for University Union. She enjoys traveling (which she gets to do for her business) and all things art related.
Erica Bernstein

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