Students Turn to Jewelry Business During Pandemic


Ali Montee and Kayla Barker

Students open online jewelry shops during Covid-19

In a world that has seemingly gone digital, partly due to a pandemic forcing us to isolate for much of this past year, some Campolindo students have started online businesses selling various handmade jewelry items.

Junior Olivia Curtis is the owner of JewelsbyOliviaMiye, an Etsy shop where she sells made-to-order jewelry. “I started my shop a few months after starting to make jewelry during quarantine. I had made/sold some earrings for CAPA’s Nutcracker, and decided it might be fun to open up a shop on Etsy,” said Curtis.

“When I was younger I always enjoyed making jewelry, and then during quarantine when I was bored out of my mind like everyone else, I decided to start making jewelry that I wanted to wear. I sell made-to-order earrings, rings, and necklaces, and the majority of the pieces are made with natural gemstones or pearls,” added Curtis.

Likewise, sophomore Kate Weaver was inspired by the COVID-induced lockdown to sell jewelry on her Depop account, @kateeweaverr.

Weaver said, “In 2019, I started making jewelry and giving them to my friends just for fun. But when lockdown started in March, I felt as if I needed a creative outlet. Not only do I love making jewelry but I have always been passionate about helping our planet, so I made the decision to start my Depop account so I could donate the profits.”

All of the proceeds from Weaver’s sales of her handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings are donated to Greenpeace, an organization that helps to fight climate change, deforestation, and promote solutions that are essential to a green future.

While inspiration can stem from lots of places, both Weaver and Curtis were primarily inspired by jewelry that they personally love to wear. “I have never really loved or been inspired by jewelry that I have seen in stores, so I thought ‘why not make it myself,’” said Weaver.

Curtis said, “The inspiration behind my jewelry is mostly what I like to wear, or what I see friends wearing. I am also a dancer, so I like to make jewelry that is simple and lightweight enough to wear during class.”

Beyond honing their craftsmanship skills and learning to create beautiful jewelry, both artists have gained entrepreneurial experience through starting and running their shops. Through their experience, both have had to pick up money management and marketing skills, helping them to effectively operate their businesses.

“Starting this business has taught me a lot about money management for small businesses. At first, I didn’t realize all of the start up costs associated with materials needed for shipping and packaging. In the beginning of this business, I was spending more money than I earned because it was important to me to find packaging that was 100% compostable and recyclable,” said Weaver.

Similarly, Curtis said, “Since starting my Etsy shop, I have learned a lot about marketing and how to source affordable and high-quality materials. I have also developed better time-management skills, in addition to budgeting and money management. I think these skills are incredibly valuable to people my age, especially to those of us going away to college in the near future, where independence and responsibility are skills incredibly important to our success later on.”

If you’re interested in checking out or purchasing jewelry, it’s only a click away. Find Curtis’ jewelry @jewelsbyoliviamiye on Instagram and Etsy and Weaver’s @kateeweaverr on Depop.