Cashing in on Creativity

Teens find inventive ways to make bank


photo by Annie Trimboli

Freshman Annie Trimboli photographs her new black choker pearl necklace that she had made. Trimboli has sold over 70 these chokers for $3.

Melissa Donovan, Business Manager

Freshman Annie Trimboli wanted to purchase a black choker pearl necklace from Amazon but after looking at the price tag, she figured that she could just make one herself.

Soon, friends noticed her wearing the choker and wanted to purchase one. From then on, her choker orders multiplied by word of mouth.

However, Trimboli is not the only one that takes part in selling jewelry. As trends have set in, it has become more common for teens to create something for themselves than purchasing it elsewhere.

From then on, they have gained customers just from wearing their products around or promoting through social media accounts.

Trimboli hopes to expand to selling crochet tops and swimsuits and possibly having her own online store. She wants focus less on the chokers because they aren’t enough of a challenge to make.

“I was successful in making necklaces, but I felt it was too easy for me,” Trimboli said. “In crocheting, there are more opportunities to be creative and challenge myself to create something more impressive.”

So far, she has made around $210, with $35 of that going toward supplies from places like Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby.

For junior Emily Bogdany, another choker seller, her profits went to buy her ticket for a trip to California over the summer.

Starting as a hobby to cure summer boredom, Bogdany has sold over 200 adjustable chokers and necklaces for $7, mainly promoting herself through her business Instagram: @emilybogdanyart.

“[With the money made] I’m looking for a way to donate a percentage of my profits soon, possibly to a foundation that supports children in Africa,” Bogdany said.

Because she has been keeping up with trends, she has started making crystal chokers and has attracted more buyers. Eventually she wants to branch out to bracelets and anklets.

Similar to Trimboli, junior Camden Uhl has also had success with selling her pearl chokers for $5.

“People like to buy from me because my products are reasonably priced and homemade,” Uhl said.

Sophomore Gabriella Marcum sells bracelets for $8-10.  They use multicolor and Buddha beads to give the bracelets a “silly and happy vibe,” she says.

“I enjoying making something cute that I or someone else could wear,” Marcum said.

Marcum has also self-promoted through her business Instagram page: @gmarcumjewelry as well as the use of business cards.

In a couple of weeks, she will be selling her bracelets at the Lake Eola Famers Market held Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She received this opportunity because of a family connection she has with another vendor.

The overall reaction to students’ entrepreneurship has been positive, due to the students’ willingness to spend their money on local talent rather than big name stores or online vendors. They find that the accessibility of the whole purchase is more comforting knowing the person who is selling them the product, since they won’t get scammed.

“I like purchasing items from someone at school because it’s easier and less expensive than having to order something online,” sophomore Julia Plescha said. “Plus you receive the purchase faster than if you had ordered elsewhere.”