Student Spotlight: @jewelsbylilly

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Katie Erikson

You can often see Lillian Rosenfield (10) walking the halls wearing a variety of necklaces, chokers, and bracelets—all of her own design. By the end of the day, she could be missing one or two pieces from what she had started out with. This is a good thing: it means she’s made a jewelry sale to girls who saw her wearing it.

Modeling her own pieces and conducting face to face business is just one of the ways Rosenfield promotes her jewelry. She also relies on online platforms like Instagram (@jewelsbylily) and Etsy(PrettyLillyJewelry) to sell her jewelry to a wide audience.

“When I was younger my family always told me that they could see me working in businesses,” Rosenfield said. Before she started to make jewelry, she tried to sell baked goods, which was hard because the food needed to stay fresh. Rosenfield eventually moved on to making necklaces and bracelets. She spent years teaching herself how to bead, and had many failed attempts before succeeding. Rosenfield said, “I wanted to teach myself so I could learn from my own mistakes, instead of someone else telling me what to do, and I could experiment with new things.” She has come a long way since then, and now has around 700 followers on Instagram, anywhere from ten to twenty orders a month.

Since the founding of her Instagram account as a freshman last year, Rosenfield has advertised and promoted her business in a number of different ways. “If I post something, the day after I post it I’ll wear it, or vice versa. I’ll wear something new and then I’ll post it the next day,” said Rosenfield. She also uses her customers, along with herself, to spread the word about her pieces just by wearing them out in public.

Rosenfield also gives jewelry pieces to a few “sponsors,” usually girls in colleges, so that they can wear them and post pictures with them on in order to promote her business. She also offers a deal that if you send in a picture of yourself wearing her jewelry after purchasing it, you receive a 20% discount off the next order. She frequently posts the user-submitted photo to her Instagram account to help promote her pieces.

The majority of the orders that Rosenfield receives come directly from Instagram. Even though she also sells her pieces on Etsy, Instagram is her main source of buyers. In order to buy a piece, find the one that you want on her feed, then direct message or text her about it. Custom orders can also be made.

Rosenfield gets all of her materials from May’s Beads and uses mostly colored beads, leather wrap, pearls, and unique pendants to make her jewelry.

Most of her clients are either in high school or college. Even though most of the people that she sells to are people that she knows or knows of, every once in awhile she will get an order from someone in another state who has somehow found her site. A lot of younger people love her jewelry because the prices are adequate for the age group she is selling to, and her pieces are unique. Most of the pieces she sells are between $15 and $50, and she uses a lot of neutral colors, which are popular and easy to wear.

Overall, Rosenfield has worked hard to get where she is today, and is planning on growing her business more over the next few years and is hoping to keep making jewelry through college as well.