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Teen Trep Esther Renee Jewelry

Randi Craigen - Monday, September 21, 2015

Sometimes the seed for entrepreneurship gets planted early … very early. Esther was just five years old when she created her own little business for a Kindergarten project—Esther’s Pretty Stuff. She envisioned herself selling things like earrings and necklaces with prices from $999 to $9,999. She still has the piece of paper with her business name and ideas. That was over 12 years ago, but the concept wasn’t that far-fetched, even though the original price point may have been. Esther now has a growing business making custom, hand-crafted jewelry, grossing over $300 at her very first sale. Esther’s always been creative and enjoys making things with her hands, so learning to make jewelry seemed like a really good idea. She started teaching herself to make earrings in 4th grade, eventually getting some help from other family friends and contacts who knew the craft. She fell in love with wire-wrapping and enjoyed using the technique to make jewelry for teachers, family members and friends. The more she made, the more her craftsmanship improved, and her appreciative “clients” encouraged her to keep designing. Signing up for a craft fair at a local park was out of necessity more than anything. She had to find a way to reduce the growing pile of jewelry in her bedroom and to acquire the funds to buy supplies to make more. She was definitely hooked.

Using the 24 principles of StartingUp Now, Esther is working on her business plan for Esther Renee Jewelry, learning about costs and pricing, evaluating her opportunities and competition, and learning about legal structure. Her parents have been a huge encouragement, taking her shopping for materials, helping her set up at sales events, and traipsing across the city with her to apply for the appropriate business licenses and permits. Her dad even got permission for her to set up a table at his job site—a high rise condo building where he works security--and that turned out to be one of the best investments of all. One of the residents—a professional personal shopper well-connected to high end customers—took a look at Esther’s jewelry and was very impressed. She purchased jewelry for herself, sold some to friends, and got orders for several more custom pieces. She had Esther make her a necklace to wear to a celebrity fund-raising event and is personally working to connect Esther to buyers and future sales events. It’s a lot for a 17 year old to take in, but Esther’s learning fast, making the most of the opportunities before her, and even earning some math and business class credit while she’s at it. And most importantly, she’s delivering beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted jewelry to happy customers.

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