Originally published in La Plaza Press
By MIA ARANDA
Scrolling through Instagram, one might notice the array of accounts advertising their own handcrafted jewelry, clothes, candles and other delightful items. With the modern technology available to this generation, many small independent businesses are created from the painless act of starting an Instagram account.
Redlands East Valley High School senior Madeleine Lee, commonly known as Maddie, started her own business, called Crafted By Maddie, in September as a hobby to break the monotony of quarantine.
“I love wearing jewelry so I wanted to be able to design my own and create some for others,” said Lee.
Her collection of accessories include keychains, bracelets, beaded bracelets, dog tags, rings, necklaces and earrings.
Being a dog lover with two dogs at home, a golden retriever named Danner and a border collie mix named Happy, Lee was inspired to also start selling dog tags as part of her business.
Examples of the types of accessories Crafted By Maddie sells. Check out her Instagram, @craftedbymaddie, to view more accessories and prices. (Courtesy of Maddie Lee)
Lee describes the process of creating her accessories as quite simple. To create an accessory, she takes the metal blank for the desired product and starts stamping on top of the metal the message that the customer wants to be added. Lastly, Lee then bends the metal into the desired size.
“My favorite accessory to make would be rings because each of them is so different and I enjoy seeing what people want to wear,” said Lee.
Lee’s prices range from approximately ten to 20 dollars, depending on the type of accessory ordered. Oftentimes, there are bundles to order multiple accessories of one type for a flat price. Anything ordered does include a four dollar fee for shipping costs; however, customers in the Inland Empire are offered a free pickup option.
Her products generally take one to two days to be shipped, then three to four days to be mailed to the customer.
Richlyn Medina, Redlands High School freshmen, said, “Maddie is an old friend of mine from elementary school, so that’s how I heard of her jewelry line.”
“I think her business is a great way to support local companies, especially a young girl like her!” Medina said. “A lot of her stuff is customizable and she offers holiday jewelry as well. Her products are also very good quality and definitely affordable.”
At REV, Lee has been on the girls’ tennis team since her freshman year and is currently on varsity. Outside of school, she recently joined Jiu-Jitsu.
“To manage my time, I try to finish all my schoolwork during the week. That way on weekends, I am able to create more jewelry,” said Lee.
REV junior Shireen Takkouch became close friends with Maddie from playing on the tennis team together.
“People should definitely buy from Crafted By Maddie because of the variety and uniqueness. She can customize bracelets and rings with any personal quote,” said Takkouch. “For example, I wanted to put the name of the country I am from and it looks beautiful!”
Takkouch continues, “I believe people should support small businesses especially during these times, and with Maddie’s business, people can have fun with their style.”
Lee said, “Everyone has been so supportive, either from shouting out my page or buying from me. The support has been so great and I am so thankful for it.”
To purchase from Lee’s business, one can search for her Instagram handle, @craftedbymaddie. From there, she takes orders through direct messages.