An entrepreneurial turn

January 23, 2022

Profile

By Cheryl Spain

Jenny Crane McHugh, ’05, knows jewelry. She should. She has loved it since she was a child.

“My parents have this funny story that when I was a toddler, I wore piles of plastic jewelry,” she says. “Every night, it would be like World War III to get me to take it off. And I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning until I put it all back on.”

After graduating from UR with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, McHugh worked in the corporate world and earned an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. In 2019, McHugh decided to pursue her dream and launch her own fine jewelry line.

As the founder and designer behind Campbell + Charlotte Jewelry — named for her daughter and the city in North Carolina in which she and her family live — McHugh now shares her penchant for “sparkly things” with others.

True to her tagline “serious jewels for those who don’t take themselves too seriously,” her handcrafted designs are unpretentious, often whimsical, and full of color. The Juju collection, for example, features rainbows, hearts, stars, and even a dinosaur. McHugh also works with clients on custom pieces she calls memento rings, helping them “weave a new story” from old, often heirloom, pieces.

While McHugh’s designs are viewable online and on Instagram (@campbellandcharlotte), she is working to expand her retailers in the coming year. She’s also preparing to launch a new collection.

Through it all, she continues to find inspiration in the emotions and phases of what she calls the “motherhood moment.”

“I’m 100% inspired by making Campbell proud,” she says. “When she’s older and can understand, I want her to be like, ‘That’s cool.’ Not necessarily what I do, but that I built this company myself.”