School has started and the daily homework grind begins. Most parents worry about their kids’ grades, and the kids do too. School stress is real. However, grades are not necessarily an indicator of future success. As a parent of three kids, I’ve come to realize and appreciate everyone’s strengths and unique talents. In my opinion, creativity and a good work ethic are great indicators of future success. If you have a good idea and work diligently to see it through, you’ll do great things. This isn’t a class in school, but it should be.
A perfect example of my theory is Lauren Marks, a senior at Cox High School. Since 2019, she has been running a jewelry business called Made By Lauren. Her entrepreneurial spirit started in elementary school when she ran lemonade stands with neighborhood friends and her big sis. By middle school, she was selling homemade slime and reselling clothes on secondhand fashion sites. When COVID hit, her jewelry business really took off. She had lots of extra time to promote her product online and make jewelry.
When she first started Made By Lauren jewelry, she marketed her wares on Instagram and delivered her jewelry creations to local mailboxes. She was only 14, so her mom would drive her around to deliver the product. Next, she opened a shop on Etsy and created a Tik Tok account to make jewelry based content to gain followers. One day, Lauren received 200 orders because of her social media marketing. Locally, Lauren has had pop up events and sold jewelry at Pixelated Boutique, 17th Street Marketplace and at a holiday vendor event at Princess Anne Country Club. Currently, she is the youngest vendor at Painted Tree and has a hip kiosk with her trendy jewelry located near the bathrooms.
“My jewelry is based around making trends affordable and easier to acquire,” said Lauren. “I use lots of colors and positive messages on my bracelets and keychains.” She said the bestsellers are heart necklaces, star earrings and beaded bracelets.
Lauren did her homework in starting her business. Her studies included following and researching trends from Pinterest, Tik Tok and Instagram. She taught herself how to make the jewelry and watched some instructional videos. Lauren said she liked creative problem solving. “It was fun figuring it out,”she said. “It wasn’t from a textbook.”
Lauren’s success didn’t come from the classroom. Her creativity coupled with lots of hard work has resulted in selling jewelry to all 50 states and even donating a portion of sales to local charities.
As a parent, I understand worrying about grades. I always do. Just remember to use some of that energy to encourage your kids to find success with their creativity or other passions. By the way, I didn’t even ask Lauren about her grades.
Find Lauren on Etsy at madebylaurennn.com or at the Painted Tree.
Lee Belote, [email protected]