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Junior Hannah Marvin starts her own jewelry business

Marvin+wears+one+of+her+handmade+choker+necklaces.
Marvin wears one of her handmade choker necklaces.

Marvin wears one of her handmade choker necklaces.

Hannah Marvin

Hannah Marvin

Marvin wears one of her handmade choker necklaces.

Sophia Li, News Editor

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Ladue junior Hannah Marvin recently opened an Instagram account, @hmarvsjewelry, to sell her handmade necklaces. She designs her pieces and also takes custom orders.

“I started this current store with an inspiration of earthy natural stuff but with a little bit of edge,” Marvin said. “I sometimes draw inspiration from other jewelry designers but a lot of the time, random ideas pop into my head.”

Her necklaces typically range from $15-$26. When buyers purchase a piece, part of the money goes toward charity.

“I wanted to do something good in addition to doing what I liked and making money,” Marvin said. “I decided I would donate two dollars to the World Wildlife Fund. I’m really into nature. Every purchase, I put two dollars in my little donation box. When it gets to a good amount, I’ll donate it and post the receipt so people can see what their purchases have done.”

Marvin has been making jewelry for ten years, ever since she was six years old. She tried many mediums of jewelry before deciding on necklaces.

“I used to focus mainly on earrings,” Marvin said. “When I first started out in elementary school, I only ever made bracelets. I just used beading wire and seed beads, and they were really simple and childish. In middle school, I focused mainly on earrings. At one point, I had two Etsy stores. Lately, I’ve been mostly interested in making necklaces. I’ve decided to focus in on one type of product so I can give it my all and make it my best.”

Looking at the pictures on her Instagram account, the necklaces have a level of professionalism comparable to mainstream boutique stores. Marvin evolved her technique over her ten years of experience.

“The first time I formally learned how to use beading supplies and tools was at a friend’s birthday party when I was seven and lived in Virginia,” Marvin said. “She had a bead boutique downtown in Rowan Oak and we got to pick out a bunch of beads and make bracelets. The people who worked there were really helpful and taught me how to use tools. I didn’t have the tools at home, but maybe a year or so down the road, my parents got me a bunch of tools, pliers, and wire cutters, all that kind of stuff. I just adapted my own ways of using them.”

The majority of Marvin’s customers come from the high school, but she hopes to expand to the middle school. The experience of managing a business has improved her entrepreneurial skills.  

“I think the biggest shock to most people starting their own business is that they find out that they’re actually really not in control,” Raju said. “Running a business changes a person makes them more aware of other people’s needs and wants and overall that can make them a better friend, a better person and a better listener.”

Despite Marvin’s jewelry-making progress, mistakes still happen. But these occurrences have sometimes surprised her with their potential.

“Sometimes when you mess up, you just have to start over,” Marvin said. “Sometimes it leads to something better than what you had intended in the first place. If I’m trying to make a very specific design and something isn’t going quite right, I can improvise and possibly come up with something better than what I had intended to do in the first place.”

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The student news center for Ladue High School
Junior Hannah Marvin starts her own jewelry business