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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bling from alum helps students nab scholarships

    Whitney Wilkening, founder of a successful high-end costume jewelry company, proves that with determination, a business strategy and UA spirit, anything is possible.

    Wilkening’s company, Bling by Wilkening, was created in 2007 with the help of professors. As a retailing and consumer sciences major, Wilkening used her knowledge to develop a company based on outstanding quality, great price and charity.

    “It was really exciting to put into practice what I learned every day in class and now I’m doing it full time,” Wilkening said.

    The New York-based Bling by Wilkening is featured in the glass case in the UofA Bookstore and has graced the covers of Tucson Bride and Groom magazine and Valley Social Luxury Magazine. The company also pairs with showrooms in Brazil, England and New York to showcase fashions three to six months before other shows.

    The popular, semiprecious jewelry, however, is most known for its involvement with Kleinfeld Bridal. Kleinfeld, featured on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress,” has been carrying Bling by Wilkening pieces since March.

    Wilkening was invited back to the UA for Homecoming weekend to help raise money for the Future Retail Leaders Scholarship Fund and the Office of Student Affairs Scholarship.

    “I bleed red and blue as an alumnus and I am really excited to be able to come back and do this,” Wilkening said.

    The jewelry cases will feature pieces priced from about $29 to $65 with UA student and staff discounts. According to Wilkening, the show will preview trends three to six months before magazines report on the trend.

    The discounted events are the perfect way to get ahead of the trends while supporting a proud UA graduate, and Wilkening said prices will be half of what they normally are in order to get students excited.

    Wilkening will feature her jewelry at the McClelland Park building on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to raise money for the Future Retail Leaders Scholarship Fund.

    She will also be on campus with discounted jewelry on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wildcat Threads store in the Campus Recreation Center and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the bookstore. Both of these events will benefit the Office of Student Affairs scholarship.

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