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This summer, I began a pending project that I have always wanted to complete since the start of high school. My best friend, Constanza Ardiles, and I started our own custom jewelry business, Lilywater. This experience opened my eyes to what it is like to manage a business and the necessary elements to be successful. 

As the number of Coronavirus cases in Florida increased at the start of this summer, the amount of free time on my hands grew. I began to think about how I could put this free time to use, as I rarely had the time to stop and take a step back to use my creativity during the school year. I did not just want to test my artistic skills, but contribute and positively impact the community. In late May, we brainstormed ideas to save up money and donate to local hospitals. 

Our first step was to research products that we could sell to a broad audience and appeal to current fashion trends. Small earrings and resin products were becoming increasingly popular, and I thought of the perfect summer theme to implement into our leading brand, minimal floral designs. Lilywater’s designs focus on pressed real, natural flowers that have vibrant colors embedded into the transparent resin, which resembles a drop of water. The summer collection is simple yet can make any outfit pop.

I have enjoyed making bracelets ever since I was young, and it feels rewarding being able to do what I love while helping the community and saving up for college. For every 5 pairs of earrings or necklaces bought, Lilywater donates one to a hospital nurse working on the pandemic’s front lines.

As we researched the appropriate materials and packaging needed to run Lilywater, we began brainstorming creative business name ideas. As we combined the clashing ideas of flowers and water, we achieved the name Lilywater. Consequently, we combined our ideas and organized them into various spreadsheets that effectively store data, research materials, and their costs. 

Once we bought the jewelry elements such as chains, rings and the clear resin we set up a notebook drawing our favorite designs and pictured how individually submerged each flower is into the resin. Some of our most popular flower colors include pink, green, yellow and blue. 

One of the essential key elements in starting a business is marketing, including social media and advertising. It is crucial to keep customers informed about new products and posting pictures of older jewelry that customers have liked. Once we opened our Etsy and Instagram business accounts, I could not believe that what sounded like a dream had been put into action. My own designs would be worn across Florida and the nation as we had few orders in different states. 

The experience has been worth the hard work and time put during quarantine, and I hope to continue growing in the future and releasing a new fall collection in early October.