World-Renowned Jewellery Designer
Founder of Jenna Clifford Designs
Country: South Africa
Sector: Jewellery Design & Retail
Jenna Clifford is a world-renowned jewellery designer, known for her unique designs and superlative craftsmanship. Established in 1992, her company has steadily grown its clientele and improved its profile to institute itself as a powerful force in the jewellery industry. Her bold and dramatic designs are sought after by some of the most recognised business icons and celebrities from around the world. Today, Jenna Clifford Designs employs around 70 people, including some of the finest jewellery artisans and craftsmen in South Africa.
Jenna has been a consistent advocate of women’s rights and equality and is highly active in promoting women in business. In recognition of her advocacy, Jenna received the honour of torchbearer to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 3 project, highlighting the importance of gender equality and women empowerment. Her most recent social impact project is the Jenna Clifford Rhino Project through which she has partnered with stoprhinopoaching.com to help save South Africa’s rhino.
Jenna's Startup Story
Jenna’s formative years were challenging and probably contributed significantly to the sheer determination and self-discipline which have been the hallmarks of her life ever since. Her parents were ill equipped to raise children, her mother being only a teenager herself at the time and her father having to stop working as a plasterer due to a skin condition. He was, however, instrumental in preparing her for the toughness of life by teaching Jenna to practice a strict sporting regime as a child. He believed that children who have a sporting endeavour are taught discipline, they learn how to stick to gruelling training regimes in order to reach their goals, and importantly learn how to progress up the ladder step by step as as result of their efforts. Jenna believes that it was this tough early sports training that taught her self-discipline and determination, and which later defined her as a businesswoman and entrepreneur.
Jenna’s foray into the world of jewellery design came at an early age when she was a behind-the-scenes jeweller, learning her craft at Urdang Jewellers in South Africa. She was married with a small daughter at the time, but when her marriage collapsed she began to take control of her own destiny, despite being emotionally distraught....
Jenna's story is one that is a continuous source of inspiration on many levels. Firstly, that as an African woman entrepreneur, you can build a powerful and highly desirable global brand, and secondly, you can also make a difference in society through your commitment to giving back. --- Melanie Hawken, LoA founder & editor-in-chief
What's behind the Jenna Clifford brand?
Jenna Clifford Designs represents the apex of high fashion jewellery design and the epitome of rare quality and superlative craftsmanship.
“My personal mantra for success is try, try and try again. Once you’ve picked something that you’ve isolated as your passion, it must be all-encompassing. You have to stick to it. You will be met with challenges, good and bad, but the thing is to stay the course.”
"It's been a long road. Some of the lessons have been painful but they now define me. I always remind myself that things are not always as they seem. I enjoy Eckhart Tolle, who says, 'This too shall pass.' One must remember that it's possible to make the most of every situation. It's been a worthwhile journey and I have a great team working with me — it's our team that makes every day worthwhile. They're so loyal and supportive of each other and the brand — I admire each of them and feel so blessed that we came to work together; that our paths crossed."
Awards & Accolades
Jenna's awards and honours include:
- 2008, Jenna is nominated as a Torchbearer for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 3 Project
- 2008, Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur
- 2007, Received the CEO Top Women in Business Award
- 1997, Rentmeester/Rapport most Inspirational and Beautiful Woman of South Africa Award