North Texas Daily

Cute A.F. Jewelry advocates for all communities through earring sales

Cute A.F. Jewelry advocates for all communities through earring sales

Cute A.F. Jewelry advocates for all communities through earring sales
November 06
14:30 2020

On a typical evening, elementary education sophomore Alexandria Finkley can be found molding and baking polymer clay into pieces of jewelry. Finkley is the owner of Cute A.F. Jewelry, a business she started to have a platform for creative expression and to advocate for diversity.

Finkley got into making polymer clay jewelry after discovering the style on Instagram and adopting techniques. She then was determined to learn how to make them herself and sell them in the community.

“I noticed that the people [who] were doing this were mainly just white, so this was a predominantly white industry,” Finkley said. “I was like, ‘There’s really no people of color [who] are doing this, and it’s really not marketed towards people of color.’”

When starting her business, Finkley made it a priority to center her work around advocating for all people. 

“I knew from the very beginning that this was something that was going to be solely around inclusivity and diversity, and I just wanted to target my jewelry toward different people,” Finkley said. “I wanted to make jewelry that everyone can wear, not just women, even men.”

In the startup phases, Finkley said she was overwhelmed when brainstorming the logistics, but after doing research, she was able to get the supplies necessary to get her business running.

“[At] the very beginning I was just like, ‘Where do I even start?’” Finkley said. “‘What kind of clay do I buy? What tools do I need?’ I think one night just staring into the ceiling trying to go to bed, [I] overwhelmed myself a little and was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I have to get packing supplies — I have to come up with a website.’”

When fulfilling an order, she said the most rewarding part is seeing the joy in people when they get their orders and post about them on social media.

Finkley said people should shop from her because her jewelry is unique and she has exciting ideas for the future, such as 420 earrings and pride jewelry.

“I’m not this big corporation,” Finkley said. “You can definitely go get some polymer clay earrings from this big company and that’s fine, but when I do it, I’m making each and every piece – no one is helping me, and it’s all done by me, by hand. Everything that is created comes from my brain.”

Finkley has made inclusion and social issues a theme with her jewelry because she has always been passionate about it and wanted to use her platform to raise awareness in a creative way.

“I take a lot of pride in that [with] my brand, I really try to focus on inclusion and diversity,” Finkley said. “In my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, I’m actually the Diversity and Inclusion Chair, and that’s something I’ve been very passionate about for a very long time. My brand is [centered around] that, as well as social issues. I want to create earrings for National Women’s Month. I have very big plans, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Customers of Cute A.F. Jewelry, such as elementary education freshman Makaila Santos, said they support the business because it’s handmade, affordable, hypoallergenic and Black, Latina and LGBTQ-owned.

“Her business is so important because Cute A.F. represents more than just an amazing jewelry business,” Santos said. “It’s a physical precedent for young women of color creating and sharing their talents with the world.”

Another customer, rehabilitation studies sophomore Bethany Savage, said she supports Cute A.F. Jewelry to support her friend while adding cute earrings to her collection.

“She really thinks about her customers, not only in the unique designs and diverse messages but also making sure that all her earrings are hypoallergenic and nickel-free,” Savage said. “I was very happy when I got my order. The packaging is pink and filled with little pink strips of confetti that made me smile.”

Finkley said her goals going forward for her business include increasing sales and incorporating new designs. Those interested in Cute A.F. Jewelry can find it on Instagram @cutea.fjewelry.

Courtesy Cute A.F. Jewelry 

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Maria Lawson

Maria Lawson

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