A high school student’s successful jewelry business shows it’s not just about grades – The Virginian-Pilot

School has started and daily homework begins. Most parents worry about their children’s grades, and so do the children. School stress is real. However, grades are not necessarily an indicator of future success. As a parent of three children, I have come to realize and appreciate each other’s unique strengths and talents. In my opinion, creativity and a good work ethic are great indicators of future success. If you have a great idea and work diligently to bring it to life, you will do great things. It’s not a class at school, but it should be.

A perfect example of my theory is Lauren Marks, a senior at Cox High School. Since 2019, she has run a jewelry business called Made By Lauren. Her entrepreneurial spirit started in elementary school when she ran lemonade stands with neighborhood friends and her big sister. In college, she sold homemade slime and resold clothes on second-hand fashion sites. When COVID hit, her jewelry business really took off. She had plenty of extra time to promote her product online and make jewelry.

When she launched Made By Lauren jewelry, she marketed her products on Instagram and delivered her jewelry designs to local mailboxes. She was only 14, so her mother drove her to deliver the product. Then she opened a shop on Etsy and created a Tik Tok account to create jewelry-based content to gain followers. One day, Lauren received 200 orders through her social media marketing. Locally, Lauren has hosted pop-up events and sold jewelry at Pixelated Boutique, 17th Street Marketplace and at a holiday vendor event at Princess Anne Country Club. Currently, she is the youngest saleswoman at Painted Tree and owns a trendy kiosk with her fashionable jewelry located near the bathrooms.

“My jewelry is all about making trends affordable and easier to acquire,” Lauren said. “I use lots of positive colors and messages on my wristbands and keychains.” She said the bestsellers are heart-shaped necklaces, star earrings and beaded bracelets.

Lauren did her homework by starting her business. His studies included trending and researching Pinterest, Tik Tok, and Instagram. She taught herself how to make the jewelry and watched instructional videos. Lauren said she enjoys creative problem solving. “It was fun to figure it out,” she said. “It wasn’t from a textbook.”

Lauren’s success didn’t come from the classroom. Her creativity coupled with a lot of hard work has resulted in jewelry being sold in all 50 states and even donating a portion of sales to local charities.

As a parent, I understand that I worry about grades. I always do. Remember to use some of that energy to encourage your children to succeed through their creativity or other passions. By the way, I didn’t even ask Lauren for her notes.

Find Lauren on Etsy at madebylaurennn.com or at the Painted Tree.

Lee Belote, jlbelote@verizon.net

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