SABRINA THOMPSON HAS A LONG history of putting contrasting things together and somehow making them work. The 32-year-old first began freestyle painting on nails and T-shirt designs when she was 11, inspired by her track idol, Florence Griffith Joyner. "A lot of my pieces are sort of contradicting when it comes to color. I'll put blue with purple and green and yellow--something that people won't really expect, but they end up liking it."
Since 2005, Thompson has been bringing her colorful ideas to life through her line of handcrafted and hand-painted jewelry, named beanp Ye (www.beanpye. corn). The designs are inspired by music, her travels, and her love of ethnic fabrics. Earrings, bracelets, and necklaces range from $20 to $120. Thompson also does custom work, which costs more, and her clients include Alicia Keys and India.Arie.
Despite the early start, the New Yorker, who is originally from Wilson, North Carolina, never imagined a career in fashion. After years as a television producer, Thompson now teaches high school, runs Kuu Consulting, a firm that helps lawyers brand themselves for the media, and she co-founded WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network; www. …