Designer Makes A Touchdown With Jewelry Line
by Mary Worrell
Originally from a small town in Virginia, Shannon Saint Clair has applied the craft, design, and sewing skills she learned from her mother to a jewelry business that has more than tripled in sales in as many years.
Saint Clair is the wife of NFL player John Saint Clair and started her custom jewelry business in 2008, catering to high-profile sport and celebrity clients. Her love of design and fashion started at an early age, when she chose to stay in her room and sketch designs rather than play outside.
“My mom taught me how to sew and I used to make jewelry out of seashells and moldable plastic to sell in craft shows with my mom,” Saint Clair said. “I wanted to go to the Art Institute and major in fashion design, but my parents refused.”
They wanted something a little more “realistic” for their daughter, Saint Clair said, and so she attended the University of Virginia where she met her husband John Saint Clair. After college, Saint Clair got a job with a real estate firm in St. Louis as marketing coordinator and later used that experience to open her own company in 2003. During that time she was still making things and designing, never leaving her passion behind.
With a husband playing professional football, Saint Clair found herself at professional football games often, alongside wives and partners of the players. She sewed her own tube-top from jersey shorts to support the team and it wasn’t long before other women at the games wanted Saint Clair to custom-make the tops for them.
In 2004, Saint Clair and her husband moved to Miami and that same year she started the jewelry company that has been growing ever since.
” I found a supplier and started designing things. I put up a website, used my name, and made cards and flyers. That’s how it started,” she said. “I passed cards out to the player’s association and did trade shows.”
Saint Clair has had a boost from her husband’s network of NFL players and industry types, but the bigger boost seems to have come from the company’s marketing model. “I was encouraged to start a Facebook page, but I hadn’t even joined then. It’s amazing what Facebook can do. I’ve made thousands of dollars in sales from Facebook,” she said.