Living in Italy was a dream come true for Jessica Ricci, even if the dream she ended up with was different than the one she planned.
It was while living there to pursue her goal of becoming an international correspondent that the former journalist instead found what she says is her true calling as a jewelry designer.
“All I know is I love going to work every day,” Ricci said. “I realized I don’t really believe I’ll ever be as good at anything as I will be at this.”
Jessica Ricci Jewelry was launched in 2006.
It’s a line of earrings, bracelets, pendants, cufflinks, rings, belts and buckles ranging from $80 into the thousands of dollars, depending on the metal. The line is inspired by her travels and the items she finds along the way, originating with prayer cards discovered during visits to Italian flea markets.
How she got to those markets is another story entirely and it started with a passion for writing.
After graduating from Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., with a degree in English literature, the Providence native then, at age 21, moved to Montana to spend a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, an organization of lay volunteers.
“I didn’t know [what to do] so I thought I would do something bettering humanity on some level,” she said.
She came back to Providence after that and began work as a reporter for the Narragansett Times, writing mostly features there for a couple of years.
Then it was off to New York City, where she worked as an “editorial-assistant type” for George magazine, the late John F. Kennedy Jr.’s political-lifestyle publication.
While there she earned a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and worked for a while at various publications as a reporter covering a wide range of subjects, including courts and geriatrics.