By Mahalia Anderson
Rashee Russell, owner of Manchester-based business Artic Ice Jewelry, is making every customer she meets sparkle.
With just one step inside the “Artic Ice Box”—her home-based VIP shopping experience—it’s clear that Rashee has one mission: to help spread joy and positivity, while making people feel great about themselves.
Already a busy mom of three, Rashee shared that she “always wanted a side hustle to earn extra money” in addition to working a "9-5" job. When she was invited to a jewelry party a few years ago, little did she know that it was the beginning of the adventure of her life.
"To personally be interactive with my customers as they ‘ooh and ahh’ over the jewelry is what puts a smile on my face as well as theirs."
“Four years ago I was invited to a Paparazzi jewelry party and I was intrigued by the beautiful jewelry and was blown away by the price point of five dollars,” she said. “Needless to say, I spent a lot of money that night! I watched how people were excited and buying up jewelry like crazy. I also know that the Paparazzi consultant made a lot of money that night.”
That evening sparked an idea for Rashee, and Artic Ice started to become a reality.
“A light bulb went off in my head and I knew that this was something I could do. I signed up as a Paparazzi consultant and my journey started that night,” she said.
Now, four years later, Rashee is the director of Artic Ice Jewelry with a team of 50 people beside her making people happy and radiant with their purchases. Her hopes are to one day make it her full-time job.
“It’s definitely a juggling act to balance mom-life, work-life, being a wife and my newest title as an entrepreneur,” she shared. “I put God first in all that I do and during those times when business is slow and not at its full potential, I take a step back to re-evaluate and reinvent my brand with new ideas. I can only take one day at a time and that’s even more the reason to go harder the next day to get it right.”
Ready to help make entrepreneurs out of anyone, what inspires Rashee to keep thriving, especially during the pandemic, was seeing how the smallest things, like purchasing jewelry online, was making her customers happy.
“We were restricted from so many things and so many people were looking for an outlet to do something fulfilling, fun and safe. And spending money on five-dollar jewelry in a pandemic definitely fulfilled that need,” she shared.
Yet at the same time, just like many other small businesses, sometimes keeping momentum going through the challenges of the pandemic has been tough.
“To be a positive small business owner in a community, where so many people have lost their jobs or have had their income cut significantly can put a strain on your business if the customers who used to support you no longer can do so,” she shared. “I’ve had my ups and downs in the business but to keep going through adversity is what made me stronger, better and wiser.”
Making people feel like magic is what Russell does best. Her team and founders of Paparazzi, friends, family and customers are her support and motivation to keep chasing her dream.
“The founders of Paparazzi, their staff and other consultants from different walks of life pour positive energy into one another, which is uplifting,” said Rashee. “We are a sisterhood and brotherhood.”
While the pandemic has put a damper on gathering, being together with her customers is what Rashee enjoys most, by hosting jewelry parties for girls’ nights, special events and family functions.
“To personally be interactive with my customers as they ‘ooh and ahh’ over the jewelry is what puts a smile on my face as well as theirs,” she explained.
Rashee also shows love to her community by offering some sweet perks and giving back.
And while she isn’t able to host in-person parties as much these days, Rashee has transitioned to shop online and offers in-person shopping at the “Artic Ice Box” by appointment—her home shop filled with a wide selection of pieces to choose from, including looks for women, men and children.
At such an affordable price point, jewelry from Rashee's Artic Ice Box doesn’t disappoint. Her children’s line, called Starlet Shimmer, include earrings, bracelets and rings for only a dollar each. Women’s jewelry options include earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces—and all necklaces come with matching earrings! She also offers men's jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces and rings. Whether shoppers are looking for metal, seed beads, acrylic or wood pieces, she’s got them covered. All adult jewelry is priced at five dollars, with the exception of her upscale Zi Collection sets for $25.00 each. All jewelry in the Artic Ice box is lead- and nickel-free.
Best of all, Rashee is helping more and more people enjoy the finer—yet affordable—things in life, one piece of jewelry at a time.
To shop the Artic Ice Box, visit their online shops at articicebox.com or articice.org. Find Artic Ice on Facebook and Instagram to view Facebook Live shopping events or book an in-person shopping appointment.
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