Celebrated Marion County master seamstress, beader, jewelry-maker & designer Ms. Jessie Thompson of Ms. Jessie’s Designs — known internationally for her unique “Africanwear,” designed to connect African-American Black communities to West African styles of dress, jewelry, & adornment, because Black Pride should happen every day!

Master Marion County Seamstress & Jewelry-Maker


Ms. Jessie Thompson is Marion County’s most celebrated local seamstress, designer, & bead-worker in the tradition of “Africanwear.” Through her arts-of-adornment small business, Ms. Jessie’s Designs, Ms. Jessie helps to connect U.S.-born African-American & Black communities to the fabrics, designs, styles, jewelry, & other arts of adornment of Western Africa. Her interest in Afro-Centric Arts of Adornment grew out of a frustration with the sometimes-relegation of Africanwear, in U.S.-born Black communities, just to Black History Month or Kwanzaa celebrations. Out of her lifelong passion for sewing and design — which she learned in her family home — Ms. Jessie launched a business to make African styles of dress, as well as West African traditions of head-wraps and beadwork, accessible & affordable to a new generation of Central Ohio’s Black community. Her outfits and head-wraps are made entirely by hand, and often feature her custom beadwork. Ms. Jessie also designs & sells intricate beaded necklaces, bridal gowns, lingerie, fan & hanky sets, and wedding attire. All items produced & sold by Ms. Jessie’s Designs are hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind, & made here in Marion, Ohio. Ms. Jessie partners directly with first-generation West African immigrant fabric purveyors in Columbus to make her garments, which are available directly from Ms. Jessie in Marion; or by mail, anywhere in the world. Contact Ms. Jessie today to commission your own Africanwear; or to book an African arts-of-adornment tutorial for your next gathering or cultural event.

Ms. Jessie, along with her husband, have also been central players in the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Community Usher Board program — helping to set shared standards for the dress, comportment, & messaging system used by an aggregated corps of ushers (available for funerals & other community events) shared across Marion’s historically Black churches.

Note: During COVID-19, Ms. Jessie’s Designs is also producing custom cloth masks using a range of imported West African fabrics and in Africanwear designs & styles; contact Ms. Jessie directly with any inquiries or requests; or for more on how to order!


Ms. Jessie’s Designs is open for business at 352 Uhler Avenue || Marion, Ohio || 43302. During the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact Ms. Jessie Thompson prior to visiting her business, as business hours of rules of operation may have changed to mitigate the effects of the virus.


Africanwear; Clothes & Jewelry; Design; Beadwork; Lessons/Workshops/Tutorials


Sewing; Seamstressing; Jewelry-Making; Beadwork; Arts of Adornment; Headwraps & Hair Styling; Afro-Centric Dress