Basic Info

Joan Horning
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Apparel & Fashion, Design - Other, Non-Profits / Philanthropy
Personal Career Headline:
Designer, Philanthropy is Beautiful®

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

Philanthropy is Beautiful-– 100% of the profit of all JHJ sales go to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. Keep the giving going.

In my 20’s, I worked in alumni and corporate fundraising at Harvard College and Columbia Business School. Through these positions I gained invaluable experience in counseling, advising and an introduction to business leaders and corporate structure. My 30’s and 40’s brought my first exposure to the boy’s club of Wall Street. I learned to hold my own in a room full of men and honed my skills with a wide range of responsibilities from management of cost centers to management of assets. By my 50’s and early 60’s I started flexing my entrepreneurial muscles by founding Philanthropy is Beautiful® Jewelry which has a social impact model of connecting consumerism with activism and tying it to philanthropy. I created an innovative business model where 100% of my profit on each purchase is donated to the charitable organization of the purchaser’s choice. I have since used my platform to increase equal opportunities for all. I currently focus on leveling the playing field for women and marginalized populations through an affiliation with The Female Quotient working on retail, impact, opportunity and messaging through my jewelry designs.

My Native AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

I began making jewelry with our youngest daughter when she took an afterschool beading class. A friend noticed my necklace, asked where I bought it, and when I told her I had made it, she put me in touch with her friend who happened to be a divisional manager in charge of jewelry, shoes and cosmetics at Bergdorf Goodman. Bergdorf launched my model in 2003 and the rest is philanthropic history.

Emerging industry trends?:

The jewelry industry is changing in a number of ways, mirroring modern technology changes and cultural norms. For example, jewelry can be made with CADs (computer aided design) and man-made diamonds. Responsibly sourced materials are becoming more popular as concern for the environment grows. The platforms through which jewelry is purchased has moved from exclusively brick and mortar retail to predominantly web-based.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

A fabulous app that allows them to share their passions with others for particular non-profit initiatives.

How do you motivate others?:

The most important motivator is to break tasks down so that one can have an early success in meeting a goal. Check lists are a useful tool. I like to see and show others that milestones have been reached.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Managing production is the hardest part of the jewelry business Creative people – artists, designers, marketing people- will always have new ideas and ability to create new things but planning for inventory needs and the financing around them is the most challenging part of the business. My advice is to have a strong production team behind you- especially someone who loves data, not just the end product.

My Native AdVantage

What do you do best?:

I am an optimist. I make quick decisions and reprioritize easily. I have a great memory for anything visual although a terrible one one with regard to peoples’ names.

What are your aspirations? (Personal and Business):

The Big Idea: Establishing philanthropy as a lifestyle as a movement.

My personal aspirations are to be more patient with others. It’s a struggle for me. I make very fast decisions and expect others to move as quickly and be able to rearrange priorities without losing a beat.

My greatest business desire is to harness the power of social media to help my customers recognize the benefits of equality. If I could capitalize on the opportunities technology offers, not only would I be able to grow exponentially within a budget, but also reach other industries that might want to license my jewelry lines, Philanthropy is Beautiful® or Pavé the Way®. This would allow me to further prove that consumers care about giving back and paying it forward, which could extend beyond a luxury market.

Biggest Success?:

My greatest success is that regardless of exogenous variables, I wake up every morning optimistic and hopeful. While I have a cheerful disposition, I am also a highly emotional and anxious person so I have trained myself to wake up and believe “Something good is going to happen today; I just know it!” and believe it to be true.

Most Challenging Moment?:

Every time I can’t “fix” something to make my children happier, I suffer. There is not just one thing that I question about my parenting. Was it bad for them that I was so career focused and had nannies taking care of them while I pursued my career interests? Did I let them down by not pushing them hard enough like a “Tiger Mom”? Did I listen well enough to what they were saying or impose on them what I wanted them to do? Parenting issues are the most challenging for me – even with grown children.


We are more similar than different – We all want to be safe, happy, loved and loving.

Favorite People/Role Models?:

My husband and children are my favorite people—they know the good and bad things about me and still love me.

Oprah is a role model for me in business. I admire her ability to identify a problem and use her platform and personal funds to address it to the best of her ability.

Malala’s father is another role model – he taught his daughter that education was her right.

Primary Location

Are you sure you want to manually enter your location? Have you tried typing the first few letters?

SUBMIT your location My Location is Not Listed (enter manually) clear location