Jeanine Benjamin

Owner, Jinn

Jeanine Benjamin lives her philosophy of not shying away from setting high goals or making bold changes.

Having qualified as a mechanical engineer, a decidedly male profession, Jeanine is today the proud founder of a company called Jinn, which produces unique jewellery for men and women that has quickly gained respect in local fashion circles.

Her design credentials have been firmly established in the short time that she has been operating her Cape Town business. This process started in 2010 when she created jewellery pieces after graduating and failing to find employment.

She persisted with this passion even after joining Arup as a consulting mechanical engineer, the job from which she resigned in September 2013 to run her business full time. Earlier that year she exhibited at the Design Indaba in Cape Town, where she was featured as one of the show’s Emerging Creatives.

She has also named by House & Leisure magazine as one the country’s top creative talents.

Not content with making such a monumental shift in her life, she is jetting off to ESSEC Business School in Paris in September to study for an MBA in luxury brand management.

The purpose of her studies is to realise her dream of establishing a “modern yet timeless jewellery and luxury goods company, which uses and values the country’s mineral wealth”.

“As a country that produces so many raw materials it is a natural step to make use of this through local beneficiation,” she says.

Benjamin is intent on combining her success thus far with the knowledge she is looking to gain to build a business that can create local employment. These plans include expanding her range from jewellery to leather goods, and one day establishing a creative business incubator to help build the business acumen of people operating in this sector. — Johann Barnard