Growing up, Jewel T. High was always the tall girl who couldn’t find quality, stylish shoes in her size. Disappointed, she set out to pave a way for women like herself to walk with confidence. See how she channeled her passion and artistic talent into creating a luxury footwear line.

Name: Jewel T. High

Age: 23

Title: Owner & Designer of Jewel High Collection, LLC

Location: Westchester County, New York

Hometown: White Plains, NY

Twitter: @jewelhighcol

LinkedIn: Jewel High

The gig: I design luxury footwear for women sizes 6 to 13. With my gift, I’m able to make sure women of all shapes and sizes walk with confidence and style.

The journey: One struggle I constantly faced was finding beautiful shoes in a size 11. I always had to choose from a small selection of styles, which weren’t the best looking shoes. They were either designed for mature women who don’t wear 5-inch heels, had a masculine look, or were made of poor quality. I knew I had to make a difference. Shoe design has been my passion ever since I was 10 years old.

Her career highlight: My biggest career accomplishment was opening my first store at the Garden State Mall in Paramus, New Jersey. My business launched a year ago, so it is a blessing to have the opportunity to take such a major step.

Confessions of Black woman in design: It is very challenging being a Black woman in this industry. The people who I thought would support me automatically did the total opposite. I benefited from this experience by becoming stronger and wiser.

Favorite part of the job: The best thing about my job is that I get to do what I want when I want to do it. It never feels like a job because I get to empower women of all ages through my creations.

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Her industry tip: You have to be true to yourself at all times. Stand by your craft and don’t worry about those who may not want to support you right now. Know that they will eventually come around. Understand that there are more followers than leaders out there and you have to find a way to encourage people to not want to be like everybody else.

Biggest lesson learned: I was under the impression that I could do everything on my own until I was so overwhelmed that I made myself sick. I had to stop and take a second to regroup. I then utilized all resources readily available to get the help that I needed.

Her student loans status: I started paying my student loans this year. It is definitely something I don’t look forward to each month.

Her best time-saving tip: Schedule your entire day so you can be as productive as possible. You can’t spend too much time on one area of work, whether it is social media, customer service, shipping etc.

In her downtime: I go to the park to relax while looking at the beautiful trees and water. I was never a nature girl until I launched my company and felt a lot of pressure. It is so relaxing and helps me appreciate life.

Her tech fixes: I can’t live without my Mac and iPhone. I feel like I use them all day long. My favorite apps are Instagram, Perfect365, Fotor, TextCutie and Flipagram.

In her beauty bag: I can’t get enough of my Glam Seamless tape—in hair extensions and Risa Lashes. They give me a glam look instantly without damaging my hair or eyelashes.

Her go-to power accessory: Jewel High Collection shoes, of course! They make any outfit pop.

Her secret superpower: My worship is my weapon.

Her theme song: “Titanium” by Sia

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