By: RILEY PULT
Starting something new can be nerve racking, but starting a business can be a whole different story. 10th grader, Emma Barlow, recently started her own small business. While Emma attended Benicia High School her freshman year, she is currently doing an online program away from BHS for her sophomore year. I have been following Emma’s jewelry account on Instagram (linked below) and thought it would be interesting to hop on a video chat with her to get further insight as to how she began her business.
Emma began her business on August 15th, days before school began, and named it Moon Flower Jewelry. She had not been making jewelry before starting her business, so starting this was uncharted territory for her. She had seen many accounts and people making dazzling jewelry and thought, why not try it out? Emma made the spontaneous decision and ordered her supplies to begin.
Emma’s products range from earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. She mainly sells hypo-allergenic earrings. Hypo-allergenic means that the materials are made with pure metals such as stainless steel. Many people are unable to wear jewelry because it has an amount of nickel that causes an allergic reaction to certain jewelry. Emma uses hypo-allergenic materials because it allows for a wider audience to wear them. Her inspiration for her company was nature-based. She uses pressed stones like amethyst and quartz to keep with the theme of natural items.
Emma’s jewelry does not take as long as you may think to make. Her stone earrings only take her around 10 minutes. She claims that compared to other company’s, this is a slower time; some people can make their products in half that time. Emma sells her products on Etsy and Depop. Her prices range from $5-$10, and she offers free shipping! Her stone earrings are usually priced around $8 and her other earrings are around $6. She has recently introduced bracelets to her account and takes custom orders.
Social media has been a great way for Emma to grow her business. She recently hit 500 followers on Instagram and is gaining followers every day. She said she was surprised by the support from the other businesses doing the same thing as her. Many businesses shout each other out or do trades. Trading is where a store private messages the other and tells them the product they want from them, and the other store will then counter with what they want from them. This is a great way for both people to reach a different audience.
Emma recently launched a fall collection and says that she would love to continue with collections. Her fall collection consists of 4 items: 2 bracelets and 2 sets of earrings. She wanted to branch out from her usual products and create a fun theme. Emma has many exciting things planned for the future. October 22nd from 3-6pm, she will be having a pop-up shop outside of Collektive Boutique in downtown Benicia. Emma is finding opportunities within the Benicia community to expand her shop and expose herself to potential buyers.
When asked what her goal is with her business, she said that she wants to keep it as a side project right now because she has many other things going on at the moment. She also said that school is her main focus and she won’t let her shop get in the way of that. While she may be new to the world of small businesses, she is already making her mark.