Written by Guinevere Stearns
Stellanie Kyros has created Student Spotlights on our social media to highlight some of the students and graduates of Carlow University to spread the word about their accomplishments. Kyros is back at it for March! Kyros chose to interview some students who have created their own businesses and who are great examples of upcoming entrepreneurs as a part of #MarchMeetTheMaker.
Maddie Canel, graduate student in professional counseling/student affairs and recent psychology graduate
Maddie Canel runs a jewelry business named “Peace, Love, n Little Gems” that she began in 2020. Canel runs this business by advertising on her Instagram and her Etsy shop. She has also recently sent two shipments of her inventory to local shops with another on the way!
Canel says that her inspiration for her business from her best friend, Emma Wilson. “We now bounce ideas and send each other designs we’re excited about,” she says. Canel says her favorite part of her business is when people ask her to make them something custom because she knows her jewelry will be special and personal to them. Canel’s jewelry is made from polymer clay, air dry clay, crystals/gems, wire, and Shrinky Dinks.
Canel is also donating half of her proceeds to a cat rescue in Pittsburgh called “Bridges From Kuwait.” She says, “The woman who runs this rescue brings cats over from Kuwait all on her own dime or on the donations of others. The cats are in extreme abuse and distress in Kuwait, so that is why I wanted to make it a goal of mine to donate to them.”
Emma Wilson, senior respiratory therapy major
Emma Wilson’s business is called “Emma’s Crafted Creations” where she creates clay jewelry. She makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and hairclips. Wilson started by making her creations for her sisters and nieces, then moved on to creating custom pieces for her friends. Some of Wilson’s favorite pieces have been earrings for wedding parties and engagement photos.
Wilson says that her best friend, Maddie Canel, was one of her first and mightiest supporters! Wilson’s goal is to create pieces that can be worn for all occasions and bring confidence and beauty to each person who wears them. Wilson says that the most important thing to remember when starting a business is to pace yourself. “As long as you love what you are doing and it brings you joy, you are a successful businessperson,” she says.
Wilson hopes to soon launch a series called “earrings with a purpose.” “Each collection will be connected to a worthy cause and for each sale, a portion of the proceeds will benefit that cause,” she says. She hopes to kick off this series during June, Pride Month, so the proceeds will benefit LBGTQIA+ youth in need.
Make sure to stay tuned for Wilson’s new series by following her Instagram!
Janna Arnold, Carlow graduate with a degree in fine art
Janna Arnold graduated in 2019, and her fine art major was focused on ceramics. She is a functional potter, gardener, and illustrator. Arnold says, “My work is highly influenced by both her rural upbringing and her current urban environment…I am inspired by the art of sharing conversations over dinners, coffee dates, and shared experiences.”
Arnold creates functional ceramic pieces such as dinnerware and mugs. “The thing I love most about creating is that the pieces that I design and make are able to be passed on to numerous people to use in their daily life. I love the thought of a handmade piece of mine being someone;s favorite morning coffee mug.”
Arnold says, “The most important thing to remember when starting something new is that it takes time and patience to get good at something! Everyone starts somewhere, learning and honing in on skills and techniques takes time, but in the long run it is totally worth it!”
To take a look at Arnold’s art, check out her Instagram!