Cho Yin Rachel Lo
In fall 2019, junior Jalyn Cox took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts, where she made the decision to get her Tarot cards read for the first time. Cox was stunned to hear the reader mention the idea of a potential entrepreneurial endeavor, something she had been entertaining in her mind for months.
After a 3-month-long rumination period, Cox started creating jewelry in late October. On Dec. 10 she launched Raw Intention, her own jewelry company. Cox said Raw Intention creates jewelry that incorporates crystal components and original designs so that each piece is unique.
“I want to combine crystals in a way with jewelry that, at least for me, I haven’t necessarily seen as much,” Cox said in an interview. “I want it to be like everyday wear with a flare.”
Cox—wearing self-made butterfly earrings and a green rhyolite stone around her neck—said she launched Raw Intention wearing her signature rhyolite stone necklace. She said she feels a stronger connection to the rhyolite stone necklace than any other stone.
“I think it’s really cool to know yourself enough,” Cox said. “To know, like, this is mentally my headspace now. This is what I want to work on… And whenever I put on my necklace in the morning, I think of those things.”
The idea behind Raw Intention first surfaced for Cox in summer 2019, when crystals began to interest her and attracted her to various farmer’s markets.
“I couldn’t find any pieces of jewelry that I felt a connection to, that I loved and actually wanted to wear,” Cox said. “I was like wait, what am I doing? I know how to make jewelry. Maybe I should start doing this.”
Cox created three different collections within Raw Intention. Her first collection is titled “Genesis,” and her second collection, “Chiron Direct,” was created in collaboration with Lis Steinberg ’19, who Cox met while working on campus during fall 2018.
“We both had similar spiritual beliefs,” Steinberg said in a phone interview from New York. “And when she came to me with what she was doing, I thought it was just the coolest thing.”
Cox’s third collection, “Rekindled Gems,” prioritizes sustainability by recycling older beads into new pieces of jewelry.
“We have so many beautiful things already [lying around],” Cox said. “There’s no need to make more.”
All of her pieces are visibly influenced by nature, Cox said. Pieces feature subjects such as butterflies, flowers, fish, shells, and stones.
Cox primarily uses friends as models for her products, and is learning photography in the process.
“Because there are so many amazing photographers here on campus…I’ve been learning from a lot of different people,” Cox said.
Cox’s jewelry prices range from $9–23. Mindful of the financial strains facing college students, Cox prioritizes selling affordable products.
“A lot of my friends say that I should up the prices on my jewelry,” Cox said. “But I don’t want to, because that’s not necessarily what it’s all about to me.”
Cox has also started a blog, meant to go hand-in-hand with her jewelry business. The first post featured on the blog focuses on healing energy and what it means to heal.
Cox said she is in the process of creating a Raw Intention website, which is almost complete and scheduled to launch Feb. 3.
Until the website goes online, products are sold through Instagram with direct messages with potential customers. Cox said she accepts cash and Venmo transactions.
Shoppers on the website will have the option to either pick up their orders or have them shipped. However, the website makes it clear that only orders from Emerson students have the option to pick up their pieces from Cox’s dorm room.
Junior Marlee Mesarchik was attracted to the jewelry’s simplicity and originality. She ordered two custom made matching necklaces from Raw Intention and received them at her home in California over the winter break. The package included a card with descriptions of the significance of the stones Cox used to make the product.
“I have also been suggesting [Raw Intention] to all of my friends, because they all love my necklace,” Mesarchik said.
The Raw Intention Instagram page cultivates publicity for Cox’s pieces and is her main source of sales.
“I am so proud of the social media,” Cox said. “Because I feel like I am actually connecting with some people, and actually speaking to them about what stones they have, what stones they want to see, and why they want to see them.”
Cox said she values human connection and wants Raw Intention to involve more direct interactions in the future.
“I have a lot of plans to go to small craft markets,” Cox said. “And I want to speak to people. I want to be in front of people showing them exactly what it is.”
Before starting Raw Intention, Cox and her mother used to make and restore jewelry together.
“It was kind of something that we both kind of lost over the years,” Cox said.
Cox said she and her mother use Raw Intention to once again share jewelry-making. The two took a bracelet making class together over winter break.
“My mom is—whether she realizes it or not—she is so excited over this,” Cox said. “It was so fun to work with her while I was home, and hear what she had to say, and watch that kind of inspiration be sparked within her once again too because really I learned everything I had to learn from her.”
Cox sees herself continuing Raw Intention throughout her time at Emerson as well as after graduating. Cox said she plans to focus on fostering a community within the jewelry business.
“I really want to harness a community of people,” Cox said. “Like-minded people who are focused on crystals, and healing, and just communicating in a healthy, supportive way.”