Quarantine for many of us meant finding new hobbies, interests, or anything that could keep us occupied within the four walls of our homes.
You either tie-dyed your entire wardrobe, got really into baking, or spent 8 hours a day on Tik Tok. But for some people, they were able to make their new hobbies into businesses and re-entering into a post-lockdown norm these companies are still thriving. It’s these small businesses that have had a big impact on the trends of the summer. Homemade jewelry is in, and in a big way too.
Personalized chokers and necklaces have been a must-have this season. Whilst beads, shells, and brightly colored jewels have all become staples for those wanting to grow their jewelry collections.
Karina Mann, 20, is a Marketing student at Uni of Liverpool. Scrolling through Instagram during lockdown she saw a necklace online that she immediately fell in love with but couldn’t afford. One order from Amazon later and she was able to recreate it using a bead making kit. From there she made more for all her friends to wear too and soon they convinced her to start a business. ‘I was unemployed and bored – both a result from lockdown – so it seemed a perfect time.’
Karina creates all the products for ‘Bean’s Beads’ (based on a childhood nickname) from the bedroom of her rented uni accommodation. The response so far has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’ and Karina is ‘thrilled with so many more orders than I expected by this point.’
‘I think it’s because people want to give money to small businesses at the moment due to everything going on in the world right now.’ Her inspiration originally came from influencers on her instagram feed. Sophia Tuxford and Cinzia BayZullo, hosts of the Girls Bathroom podcast, wore matching beaded friendship bracelets in their posts. Karina credits them as the muses for several of her designs.
As far as colour palette and aesthetic, Karina has ‘always been passionate about art’ so this came naturally to her when creating her products.
Going forward, Karina is excited to ‘create more designs’ and develop her target market whilst fitting it around her uni work.
‘Most importantly I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, this started as a fun outlet and I want that to continue.’
Another huge jewelry trend that nobody predicted is clay earrings. The trend was spearheaded by big TikTok accounts like @peachrpc and @ellieaddis but now everybody wants a pair.
Sisters in law, Julia Smith-Vidal and Millie Cornwell, are two of the people supplying our new obsession. They first began making earrings this summer, as a holiday activity when in Spain together. But soon began enjoying ‘the designing, the teamwork and the handmade uniqueness of the earrings’ so much they decided to open a business together.
The ClassyClay Shop is currently international with Julia situated in Portugal working behind the scenes coding their website whilst Millie, back in England, spends her work week creating and packaging the products.
Millie said ‘my love for the business stems from my love of jewellery. I have found so much joy in creating new designs.’
‘I think we both inspire each other and bounce off each other’s ideas.’ Speaking about the design process she explains ‘we also use Pinterest to find the kind of vibe we like, but most things are still customised in some way.’
The handmade jewellery trend is officially in, and here to stay. Time to build your collection up ASAP.