BY: SKYLER PRIETO

As Valentine’s Day gets closer, sophomore Roya Rostamian is preparing a line of products for couples to give to their loved ones. Rostamian said she owns a small business called Custom Creations by Roya, where she designs customized tumblers and cups.

“For Valentine’s Day, customers have been requesting items with hearts on them to create meaningful gifts for their friends, grandparents, and significant others,” said Rostamian. “Making these Valentine’s Day products gives me a sense of gratitude knowing that people want to buy my products and want to give their loved ones something from my shop.” 

Sophomore Sophia Priovolos said she believes Rostamian’s ability to customize products helps make it simple to purchase a unique gift. She said buying from Rostamian was ideal as she sought to purchase a gift that was heartfelt and personalized for individuals she wanted to express her love and admiration to for Valentine’s Day.

“I keep buying gifts from Roya’s business because a lot of time and effort goes into customizing these products and they always turn out amazing,” Priovolos said. “Roya works with you and helps you design the product, which makes the experience amazing and exact to the design you have in mind, so it was perfect to convey the emotions through the design for the gift.”

Junior Yosef Cohen said he found Rostamian’s Valentine’s Day products like her “Heart Starbucks Cup” were innovative. He said he thinks Rostamian’s business is perfect for personal gifts to convey love to a partner as they are unique and cannot be found anywhere else as they are tailored to the vision of the customer.

“What makes Roya’s business more innovative than the others is that she customizes not based on only her own ideas, but her customer’s ideas,” Cohen said. “If I was getting a gift for my partner, I would want to make it personal and not so cliché; with Roya’s customization options, I am able to add something to the gift that only my partner will understand, giving the product a personal, loving touch.”

Priovolos said while she thought Roya’s Heart Starbucks Cup product was appeasing, she decided to purchase a customized plastic tumbler that was better suited for her grandma. She said it was customized with miniature hearts on it with an engraving that reads “Best Yiayia (Greek for grandma) ever” to serve as a reminder to her grandmother that she will always love her.

“When I gave my grandma the gift, she was super happy and appreciative; you could tell by her reaction that it made her day,” Priovolos said. “Every week when I go and see her, she’s always using that tumbler, seeing her reaction made me feel happy because it was nice to give her a gift that showed her how much I love her.”

Rostamian said she promotes her products on her business Instagram account @custombyroya, and has received orders for Valentine’s Day through Instagram’s direct messaging. She said having her products and sales requests being managed through Instagram is convenient for her customers during special occasions like Valentine’s Day for time sensitivity.   

“Having my business through Instagram has made it more convenient for my customers to place orders,” said Rostamian. “Customers are able to see the products that I have made on my feed, and message me about any items or customizations they would like.

Cohen said as a business enthusiast, he thinks Rostamian’s method of connecting with her customers through Instagram is a successful business model. He said he finds it to be easy for both parties involved, as well as a direct form of communication.

Instagram is a newer way of conducting business that I can see has proven to be successful for Roya’s business for a couple reasons,” said Cohen. “The primary age range of Roya’s typical customer will most likely be active on Instagram and the system that Instagram has set up in terms of purchasing products is easy and efficient.”

Jessica Pagan, a Cypress Bay regular Geometry teacher, said she has not purchased any products from Custom Creations by Roya, but that she receives many customized Valentine’s gifts. She said she has received custom jewelry, photo collages, mugs, tumblers and handmade clothing, which she said helped her recognize the value of personalized Valentine’s Day products.

“Anytime a gift is customized to be more personal it is special,” said Pagan. “My gifts have made me feel very special and appreciated, so I’m sure Roya’s are doing the same.”

Pagan said she believes custom business products are perfect for Valentine’s Day. She said it is an ideal holiday to provide customized gifts to significant others as it provides more sentimental value to the connection the couple holds.

“I feel custom Valentine’s gifts are a wonderful idea,” said Pagan. “It shows that you put thought into the gift and made the extra effort to get it just right.”