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Cricket Jones shows her handmade silverware jewelry at her studio in Athens, Ohio. Oct, 17, 2023.

Cricket Jones ‘sells smiles’ with handmade jewelry

Cricket Jones has been making her own jewelry for 14 years, including handmade spoon rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. In addition, she sells her own poetry in the form of mugs and T-shirts. She did not always know jewelry was her calling, but took a taste of every creative direction in order to find what she loved. Her father inspired her to let passions guide big life decisions, and she has done so throughout her life.

“My dad always said, ‘Find what you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life,’” Jones said. “I was looking for those jobs you love, you know?”

Jones has written poetry since she was in the fourth grade and she wanted to expand on that interest, but also knew she had many other creative aspirations, one of which was photography. At 16 years old, Jones started taking pictures and joined her high school’s yearbook and newspaper. 

“I sold a picture when I was 16 to a local newspaper, so I guess I have been a professional since then,” she said. 

Attending Ohio University, Jones started her journey in higher education by studying photography but eventually found that she couldn’t afford the high-tech cameras other students had. She then switched to studying journalism but found the program too restrictive and wanted more freedom in writing. Eventually, she settled on creative writing and found her passion. However, at graduation, Jones found herself stuck at a crossroads, unsure of which path to take next. 

“I was walking down College Green with my diploma in my hand, and I'm going, ‘You mean I went to college to get a degree? To get a job?’ It was the first time it dawned on me,” she said. 

Jones’ original plan was to write and sell her own poetry, but at the time, there were only a handful of poets who were successfully doing that, so she worked to find a new passion and in doing so, started around 30 small businesses over the years. 

In 2009, Jones helped start Court Street Coffee in Athens and also began selling eclectic items such as terrariums, decorated picture frames, clothing and albums there.

Once she began selling jewelry, it sold fast and she decided to buy wire-wrapped rings from her niece’s friend to restock her inventory. However, when she received the rings in the mail, she was disappointed.

Cricket Jones shows her handmade silverware jewelry at her studio in Athens, Ohio, Oct. 17, 2023.

“I tried one on and I thought, ‘I can make them better than this!’” she said. 

That night she found a dented spoon lying around and showed up the next day with a Jones original.

“I said, ‘See, I told you, I can make them better than they could,’ and they went, ‘Cricket, did you just make that ring?’ They were shaking my shoulders and going, this might be your calling,” Jones said. 

From that moment, Jones said she knew that this was what she was meant to do, and over the next 14 years, her confidence behind that decision only grew stronger. Now, she has her own website,, and attends local events through the Athens Art Guild, including weekly farmers markets, Dairy Barn events and Athens’ annual Holiday Shoppe.

On her website, Jones calls her jewelry “re-enlightened,” and when asked what this description means to her, she shared a story of a self-discovery and a philosophical awakening. 

“I saw a scientific closeup of a cell dividing, and every time a cell divides, it gives us two things: water and light,” Jones said. “I think we all have this little light, so if I could take something that was dead, dying or neutral, and make it lively again, that’s what I call re-enlightening.” 

Jones re-enlightens her jewelry, but there have been times when she was forced to re-enlighten herself. Sept. 17, 2021, Jones was in a terrible car accident on her way to the Paw Paw Festival to sell her jewelry. A distracted driver didn’t see the stopped cars and sent Jones' car spinning four times. She had to be flown to a Columbus hospital for a brain bleed. Throughout her recovery, Jones received an immense amount of love and support from family and friends and talked about how she felt that through positive energy.

When asked about the details of her quota and her work life, Jones shared that she makes everything on her own, and makes new rings for a show or just due to a spark of creativity. However, money and success mean something different to her. 

“I call them smiles, ‘I made a lot of smiles this weekend,’ means I sold a lot of rings in another language,” said Jones. “I usually have 300 rings a show, and for a big show I like to make about 20 smiles.” 

Along with selling smiles, Jones made it clear her priority and purpose revolves around spreading love and acceptance. When asked one thing she wished people knew about her, Jones responded with light and positivity. 

“Universal love and that it can bring great happiness … I call it love with a capital ‘L,’” Jones said. “The little ‘L’ is an emotional love, but the big ‘L’ is love all around us. I would love somebody to know that I’m really happy, and I love myself 100%, and if they don't, maybe I can tell them how I did it.”

In January, Jones plans to rent out a place in New Orleans to sell her jewelry and immerse herself in the creative culture. Until then, she will be at the Athens farmers markets every Wednesday and Saturday and the Holiday Shoppe Dec. 16 and 17. Jones’ products typically run between $40 and $50. Additionally, Jones’ jewelry is always featured and for sale through her Instagram.


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