North Texas Daily

Student sells handmade jewelry supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Student sells handmade jewelry supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Student sells handmade jewelry supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation
November 21
14:32 2019

Rolling, cutting and baking clay in her kitchen at night, integrative studies junior Kathryn Martini makes custom polymer clay earrings to sell to Denton locals. For every sale that Kathryn makes, 10 percent of proceeds are donated directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Launched in August, Martini’s company, Martini Made Co., is a local business selling handmade earrings. She started the company in August, but she said the ideas and preparation began two summers ago, and she has been working on it ever since. 

“I woke up one morning and was like, ‘This is definitely something that I want to do,’ because I had been thinking about it for a while,” Kathryn said. “I talked to my dad and we figured out how we were going to go about starting the whole process.”

Starting a business requires a long process of preparation, Kathryn said. 

“It was very trial and error,” Kathryn said. “I’m a person who likes to do things independently, so I did do some research in the beginning, but not a lot because I wanted to see what I could do on my own.”

For college students, it is often difficult to find time to balance employment with coursework and other obligations, Kathryn said. Her business has allowed her to be flexible and work on her own schedule. 

“I wanted to do a side business because I don’t have time to have a part-time job or a full-time job,” Kathryn said. “I really just wanted to do something where I could be my own boss and this was honestly the perfect way to do that.”

Kathryn is a member of Chi Omega, a sorority whose philanthropy is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Kathryn said she has grown closer to the nonprofit through her involvement with Chi Omega, and she felt drawn to support. 

“It was just something that I felt passionate about and something that I did want to add to my business,” Kathryn said. “It also makes my customers feel good because they are contributing to the community.”

Kathryn’s friends support her business because of her dedication and hard work, as well as liking the cute earrings she sells. 

“Normally when people start a project, it fizzles very quickly,” consumer experience management junior Gia White said. “She made a decision to start a business and got it going in less than a year. I also love her heart for supporting a great cause like Make-A-Wish.”

When it comes to starting a business, finances are something that need to be planned for and used sparingly, Kathryn said. 

“I think that I am kind of frugal with [money], but I do spend it where I need to,” Kathryn said. “For example, I constantly buy new cookie cutters to cut out shapes and things and I obviously buy new clay. My dad definitely helps with the money part of it.”

To help with expenses, Glenn Martini, an Irving resident and Kathryn’s father, often will help her because he wants to support her with her business. Her parents have been big supporters throughout the growth of Martini Made Co.

“It’s been a mix of things,” Glenn said. “We’ve contributed to the supplies and materials that she uses to make the jewelry, we’ve encouraged her in her social media marketing on Instagram and Facebook.”

Kathryn has built her customer base through referrals and word-of-mouth in the UNT community.

“Being in Greek life is good because you do get connections,” Kathryn said. “If one girl in a sorority buys it and posts it on her Instagram, then the rest of her sorority sisters will follow. Also, being in a college community is a good connection because people are constantly looking for different brands and also different people in the community, so it’s a great way to have that connection via Instagram.”

For local businesses especially, Kathryn said, social media is an important way of getting people to hear about one’s products.

“Since August, I think that I’ve become more aware of how much I need to stay present on my social media, so I’ve decided to do different things,” Kathryn said. “Implementing different deals, doing different graphics and stuff like that has changed [a lot] to just being more refined.”

Aside from selling her items on social media, Kathryn also has pop-ups in Denton, where people can come and pick out and purchase their earrings on location. She did an assignment for one of her classes about Laura Lake, manager of Denton Trading Company, and got acquainted with her through that. Once Kathryn started her business, she contacted Lake to start doing pop ups in her store. 

“She’s really has done very well in her pop-ups,” Glenn said. “She has a ridiculously large assortment. She went from very simple colors to much more ornate colors and patterns and designs, so we’ve seen her creativity blossom since the time she started.”

In the future, Kathryn would like to expand her business with a storefront. She said she also wants to branch out to other cities in DFW.

Over the last few months, Kathryn has had the opportunity to support a good cause while providing the community with cute earrings and accessories, White said. 

“I now own six pairs of Martini Made Co. earrings and have two keychains,” White said. “She is my sorority sister, and I will always hype her up on social media because she is amazing and her products are fantastic.”

Featured Image: Kathryn holds a pair of earrings made by Martin Made Co. Courtesy MartinMade Co.Instagram

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Maria Lawson

Maria Lawson

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