Jasmine Ellis spreads positivity, creativity and light through her homemade accessories brand

C/O Wildflower Supply Co.

If you are a Disney fan, you may be familiar with the quote, “Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?” from Alice in Wonderland. Underneath the pretty, soft appearance, these flowers have a bold and unique character, growing brazenly and unapologetically almost everywhere in nature.

The resilience, beauty and fortitude that wildflowers represent inspired Jasmine Ellis to start Wildflower Supply Co., a handmade custom accessories brand.

Ellis is a McMaster alumna and previous Social Media Coordinator during Volume 87 of the Silhouette. She developed an interest in jewelry making while creating friendship bracelets for her and her friends. 

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In the spring of 2020, she wanted to pursue jewelry making more seriously by launching Wildflower Supply Co. on Instagram. The first pieces she sold were bracelets with her favourite quotes and custom messages.

Over the past year, she has slowly grown the brand with more custom orders and the addition of different types of bracelets, mask chains and collaboration projects with local poets and businesses.

Ellis credits the rapid success of her business to when she sold Black Lives Matter bracelets in June.

“At the time, I was just screaming into the void, it felt like, on Instagram in support of the Black Lives Matter movement . . . I know that speaking about it on social media is really important, but [I thought,] “How can I tangibly do something that feels important?”,” said Ellis.

In an effort to make meaningful, real contributions to the Black Lives Matter movement, Ellis ran a week-long fundraiser selling her Black Lives Matter bracelets. She received overwhelming support and sold over a hundred bracelets.

At the end of the week, she raised $1,870 which was donated to the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association of Hamilton and Gianna Floyd Fund.

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The idea of sharing quotes through jewelry came from her and her mom’s longtime love of warm and inspirational messages, which are displayed throughout her house. It was also prompted by her first collaboration with poet Rebecca Leighton. Leighton’s lovely words were stamped on a gold cuff.

Ellis’ most recent collaboration was with Oksana Legault, the owner of 30 Wolves Designs, an online jewelry shop for handmade contemporary Indigenousbeadwork earrings. They picked their favourite lines from Indigenous poets to stamp on Ellis’ bracelets and sold them in a bundle with a pair of beautifully beaded earrings by Legault.

“[Collaboration launches] are probably the most intimidating and simultaneously the most fun projects that I’ve worked on for Wildflower . . ."

"[Those projects] make me push myself in ways that I wouldn't have otherwise thought to do, and it’s so fun to hear the creative process of the people that I work with, their stories and the reasons why they opened their business and continue doing what they're doing,” explained Ellis.

Ellis enjoys supporting and working with people who have important messages to share, and these messages are an important aspect of how she decides who to collaborate with.

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Running Wildflower Supply Co. not only fulfills Ellis’ artistic endeavours, but it has also served as a coping mechanism during the current pandemic. As much as the pandemic has negatively impacted aspects of her life, she believes the brand wouldn’t have existed without it. Her jewelry brand is the real-life portrayal of a wildflower that has bloomed despite the harsh conditions, restraints and challenges. 

The response to her accessory brand has all been kind and positive. Interacting with her customers for custom orders is one of her favourite parts of running the business, and she is still blown away by the amount of support she has received since the launch.

“The support from the community is the only reason why Wildflower has a following at all . . . It's the supporters that keep inspiring me to create new things, and they keep giving me new ideas and pushing me beyond my creative boundaries."

"I think it comes from them being themselves, so I encourage people to keep just being the most unapologetic best version of themselves because whenever they do that, in collaboration with me, everything new that I create is my favourite thing that I've created, and that comes from them,” said Ellis.

In the coming months, Ellis will also wrap up her master of teaching at the University of Toronto, and she hopes to begin supply teaching. However, she promises that Wildflower Supply Co. will remain an important community and a priority for her.

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