Beading for business
Juniors turn hobby into job
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
After carefully threading a pile of beads with a piece of string, juniors Sarah Davis and Sophie Handloff tie the ends of the string together to finish their latest piece of jewelry. Instead of just wearing their art, though, they package it in a box to give to one of their customers.
Davis and Handloff founded a business called Blondz Beadz, a play on the pair’s shared hair color. Davis and Handloff started the business last year after they created their own homemade jewelry and wore it to school. Their friends were impressed with the pieces and wanted to purchase their own. In response, in September 2016, Davis and Handloff began selling necklaces ($12), bracelets ($3-$5) and anklets ($5). Since then, they have sold approximately 40 units.
Junior Rana Somekhian has bought Blondz Beadz jewelry and appreciates the product. Somekhian bought bracelets and chokers and even reached out to her camp friends and told them about the business. This led to growth for Blondz Beadz outside of the CESJDS community.
“I like how it’s customizable and they really get your preference,” Somekhian said. “They put what you want into perspective and work with you and make you get what you want.”
The jewelry’s packaging is adorned with a saying by the Dalai Lama: “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Davis and Handloff were inspired by the quote when exploring Google images, and want their jewelry to spread this message.
Even before Blondz Beadz, beading was a hobby for Davis. Ever since she could put a bead on a string, she created jewelry for her friends and family members. Handloff, on the other hand, became interested in the hobby more recently, when she saw jewelry in stores and felt inspired to make her own. She enjoys being creative when making jewelry by arranging the beads into patterns and designs.
Art teacher Benjamin Tellie has high respect for Davis and Handloff for finding a creative outlet in jewelry making. According to Tellie, students can benefit from art by gaining skills such as imagination, collaboration and empathy.
“It develops creative thinking skills and problem-solving skills that in some other subject areas they might not develop,” Tellie said.
Blondz Beadz creates its jewelry to order, but Davis and Handloff also use their own vision to create the final product. Some customers have specific requests for their piece, while others leave it fully to the duo to create.
While they both love the art, Davis and Handloff have different jewelry specialties: Davis prefers to focus on anklets, and Handloff enjoys creating patterns for chokers. They usually split up work based on who receives the request from a customer, either in person or via social media.
The commitment is a lot to add on to junior-year stress, Davis said. After beading awhile, her eyes start hurting and she needs a break. The work, though, is worth it for Davis and Handloff especially because of their close friendship.
“Not all of our friends are sitting at home beading, we are working together in a very unique way,” Handloff said. “That has definitely brought us closer together.”