Houston mom becomes jewelry designer, catches eye of rich and famous

Caption
February 8, 2014 5:38:28 AM PST
A Houston mom went from NICU nurse to jewelry designer, and now she's a favorite of Pippa Middleton!

Make no mistake, Jennifer Welker loves accessories.

"I think the rule is more is more," she said.

And she has a great story. Welker was working as a NICU nurse at Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital when she decided to launch a new career, designing jewelry. Turns out, this 30-year-old mother of two was a natural.

"I was very good at using my hands on these very premature babies, starting IVs and having to use my hands and being steady," Welker said.

Handcrafting delicate gold and gemstone necklaces, charms, bracelets, and rings -- personalizing many of them -- Welker's business took off. Loving all things royal, she decided to take a chance, sending monogrammed necklaces to Buckingham Palace, not expecting any response. And then came the photos of royal sister-in-law and international trendsetter Pippa Middleton.

"I was beside myself, I thought for so long there was a 1 percent chance she would even receive it, much less wear it. When we saw it in a paparazzi photo, you see on our website or behind me, it was for sure a dream come true," Welker said.

Pippa has been photographed around the world in her golden thread necklaces. And Hollywood celebrities have followed suit.

The line is now carried in Saks Fifth Avenue and boutiques nationwide. Welker is now is busy working on a new Valentine's Day line and men's accessories, and the energetic Houston mom with a passion for fashion says the sky's the limit.

"It's definitely a dream come true, what I'm experiencing right now," Welker said.

Pieces range from $40 to the thousands. Welker sells her jewelry on her website, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue. You can also follow Welker on Twitter, and Facebook.

Find Ilona on Facebook at ABC13IlonaCarson or on Twitter at @IlonaCarson13

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