Students find success in upcycling jewelry

Former Business Innovations project becomes reality


Anna Benishek

Senior Liberty Powers and junior Anna Overall are making jewelry together for their business Jewelry Junkies. After finishing the business innovations class, they are now an independent business.

Colin Canaday

Starting out as a project in junior Anna Overall’s Business Innovations class, her business, Jewelry Junkies, has garnered tremendous success. Co-owner and senior Liberty Powers and her have built an environmentally friendly, and communally beneficial company.

According to Overall, she purchased Jewelry Junkies at the end of the first semester of her sophomore year. The company then took a hiatus from regular drops, only returning to release products when quarantined.

“I knew that I wanted to continue (Jewelry Junkies) at some point, I just didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it yet,” Overall said. “Then, I ended up doing a few excess pieces and throwing some stuff out over quarantine. I didn’t really have any big ideas until I had a few people reach out to me, and they were like ‘you should start that up again, I miss your pieces, I miss your products,’ stuff like that.”

Powers said that Jewelry Junkies’ success can be attributed to the growing interest in the company and the fundamental principles it was founded on.

“Jewelry Junkies stands out because, for one, we’re both young. Also, we aren’t just mass-producing; every piece we make is individual, there’s never going to be another piece like it,” Powers said. “We’re just trying to help recycle things and create a little less waste in the world by fixing old things and making something unique.”

According to Overall, those foundational principles all started in Business Innovations where the idea of Jewelry Junkies first came to fruition.

“I really didn’t want our business to just be buying a product from Amazon, or buying a really cheap product (from elsewhere), and selling it. (I wanted to have something) where we can actually make a difference,” Overall said. “We like to upcycle. We like to bring stuff together. It’s kind of like that one quote, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’”

Senior and model for Jewelry Junkies, Evan Nelson, said he has particularly noticed the diversity when it comes to modeling.

“(Jewelry Junkies) has lots of diversity with models. (They have) all sizes, shapes and colors, which is really cool,” Nelson said.

According to Powers, since Jewelry Junkies has started back up again, they have also started donating part of the proceeds made off of their sales to charity.

“We initially started with just donating to ‘Reclaim The Block’ because it’s an organization that we both liked, but then after a few drops, we wanted to donate more individually to people. So since then, we have been donating to GoFundMe’s. So pretty much after each drop, we donate 10% of it,” Powers said.

We’re just trying to help recycle things and create a little less waste in the world by fixing old things and making something unique”

— Liberty Powers

According to Nelson, Jewelry Junkies started from humble beginnings and has quickly turned into something much greater.

“It (started as) just a small little business in school that no one really knew about, (and now) they have lots of people from different schools that are interested in their stuff, which is really cool,” Nelson said.

Social media is a very important tool that is utilized by many small businesses to gather feedback from their customers and to help grow their business. According to Overall, Jewelry Junkies is no different.

“Customer feedback is really important to me, like any other business. We have been focusing heavily on Instagram story polls, interacting with people to see what they like and what they are into,” Overall said. “Also, within the almost 100 products we have sold this summer, there have only been about one or two which have broken, and that feedback is really important to us.”

You can find more information about Jewelry Junkies products and sales on Instagram at @jewelryjunkiess.