10-Year-Old Student Navigates the Jewelry Business

Ten-year-old student Laura Shontz, with help from her mother, Priscilla, debuted Color Pop Jewelry in the summer of 2012.

Laura began making beaded bracelets as a hobby and soon asked her mother if she could participate in the local craft fair. “They never had a kid participate in the fair before,” Priscilla says.

Finding time in between elementary school classes, Laura designed jewelry for a year to prepare for the Texas fair. The business soon became a family affair, with Laura’s younger sister, Sophie, volunteering to model the pieces and her father offering business advice.

“Both the retail and jewelry end are new for us,” Priscilla says. “It’s been an interesting experience.”

A mix of jewelry

Although the craft fair yielded a low turnout and disappointing sales, Laura walked away with valuable lessons. “She was discouraged at first,” Priscilla says. “But through the fair, we realized there was a market for personalized designs.”

The mother-daughter duo began focusing on hand-stamped metal pieces after receiving requests for personalized and monogramed jewelry. “A lot of people want their kids’ names on jewelry pieces,” Priscilla says.

Today, Colorpopjewelry.com offers both hand-stamped metal and beaded jewelry for under $30.

Hand-stamped metal necklace

Although she’s only 10, Laura is already thinking about the future. “I may want to own my own business when I grow up but I want it to be a small business, not a gigantic one like Apple,” Laura says.

She may not aspire to be the next Steve Jobs, but Laura’s experience in the business world has given her wisdom. “If you want to start a business, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell your parents about it so that they can help you,” Laura says.  

“We want to allow Laura to have fun with creativity, while also giving her a real life taste of the retail business,” Priscilla says.

The Shontz family (Photos courtesy of Priscilla Shontz)

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