The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Designing on a crunch

Cheryl Coleman, nursing student at City College has just launched her new jewelry design company called "Cheryls Dope," named by her son who calls his mother's style "dope." Tony Wallin | [email protected]

When City College nursing major Cheryl Coleman was 4, she got in touch with her creative side by taking her mom’s sewing kit and stitching things together.

Now about 26 years later, Coleman has taken that creative side one step further by creating her own jewelry line, “Cheryl’s Dope.”

Although juggling school, work and being a mom is difficult, the 30-year-old jewelry designer says it’s worth all the hard work because it provides her family with extra income.

“I wanted to help out my husband with the income to provide for our two sons and still have a little income of my own to pay for school and such,” says Coleman. “I really wanted to make money for just me. You don’t necessarily have to just wait until your career is over to start making money. You can do it on your own time.”

But it wasn’t just about the money, says Coleman’s husband David. It was also about finding herself again.

“‘Cheryl’s Dope’ is my wife’s way of expressing herself through jewelry in a way only Cheryl can do,” David says. “She’s always made our sons and I proud of her.”

Even though Coleman is busy with school and other things, she says her business is important and that she makes a point to prioritize it.

“With my line, I make sure to make the time, to get my orders in and out within a week’s time,” Coleman says.

Coleman was motivated to start something new with encouragement from her 6- and 8-year-old sons.

“They will always make comments like, ‘Mom, you’re cool’ or ‘Mom, you’re funny’,” Coleman says, “and it inspired me to do something about that.”

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“He comes up with these crazy ideas,” says Coleman “He had me make this pendant which is like 6 inches, and his name was [spelled out] in acrylic and was supposed to be for his BMX bike.”

Besides pendants, Coleman also designs rings, necklaces and even decorations for bikes, she says. “It’s different,” says Coleman’s brother Patrick Balderas of her jewelry line. “It’s very hip-hop with a geeky urban sense to it.”

Coleman uses the Internet to help her business, but she says she also has the support of her family and friends.

“I promote my line by my Facebook and website,” Coleman says, “but my family and friends are good about promoting me by word of mouth.”

Sometime the timing is difficult for Coleman because of school lectures and labs and her responsibilities as a mom. She says she’ll consider expanding her business beyond jewelry when time allows.

Even though Coleman won’t grow her business just yet, she says that for now she is enjoying the entire process.

“I get to meet people, and they’re so understanding with everything,” says Coleman. “I meet people on eBay and then we become Facebook friends and they send me pictures of their kids wearing my jewelry or themselves wearing my jewelry. It’s just really cool.”

Coleman might have gained experience and creativity, but her fans have also gained something back says Coleman’s regular customer Yee Wong.

“I’m glad I found ‘Cheryl’s Dope,’” says Wong. “I can’t wait to order more. I support Cheryl because she’s a very talented and down-to-earth person, not to mention, true to her company’s name, Dope!”

To learn more about Coleman’s jewelry, visit

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