Ever feel like you want something to wear, but you can’t find it anywhere in town? LSU junior Marissa Wehrer felt the same way her freshman year of college, so she crafted her own kind of style out of her college dorm. Her handmade jewelry has gained traction at LSU, but this is just the beginning of Geo by Riss. We sat down with designer and owner Marissa to learn more about her unique designs.
1. What is a typical day like for you and your team? I’m a full-time student at LSU, and making jewelry on the side is a passion hobby of mine. Some semesters are harder than others to balance the two, but it’s been a fun journey.
2. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field? I’m a marketing major, but I’ve always wanted to use my major in the retail realm. My mom makes jewelry and my dad is an entrepreneur, so I guess you can say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
3. Where are your products available? I sell my products online and at pop-up shops at events.
4. What sets your line apart? My designs are very unique and highly limited. Since this is more of a hobby while I’m in school, I usually sit my materials in front of me and go to town making different pieces. So many things inspire me throughout the day, but sometimes I get so inspired and rush home to create new pieces.
5. What is one thing you think customers should know about your jewelry business that they may not be aware of? They should know that this is only the beginning of Geo By Riss. I have big plans to expand in the future and learn more about the jewelry industry and new materials.
6. How do you keep your designs fresh and up to date? I am constantly inspired by my surroundings and other designers. This keeps me on my toes with excitement to produce new pieces. I don’t like making too many of the same pieces.
7. Can you share a hint about what customers will see in upcoming months? No! My designs are always changing. In the future, I hope to expand my brand into a boutique of curated crafts along with handmade originals.
8. What was your reason for launching the business? When did it begin, and how has it grown or changed since then? I opened my jewelry business to gain experience with marketing and entrepreneurship in May 2015 to create affordable accessories for those who want layers of trendy jewelry at a reasonable price. My idea started one late night in my dorm, as I started drawing up designs. They were a hit, so I continued to expand my line.
9. What are a few must-have products right now? I change up my products often, so things go in and out.
10. What are some of your best-selling products? Any of my beaded chokers are best-sellers! The Asteria necklace has sold the best for me, especially from the Greek community.