Keeping busy in style: student’s small business provides creative outlet

Mallory Winfrey, writer

During these troubling times, students find ways to distract themselves with fun activities. Senior Paola Grella is one of the students who has found a way of expressing herself while distracting people from the harsh realities students are facing today. 

In August, Grella created a jewelry business with her friend and fellow senior AnnaCate Howeth. 

“I wear jewelry all the time, so I felt like girls at Bishop McGuinness would like trendy jewelry pieces that I can make,” Grella said. 

Grella did a lot of research on different influencers’ social media accounts and on YouTube, learning how to make different types of jewelry and where to find materials. Then she began working. 

“I go for trendy and cute designs that appeal to any age but mostly teenagers,” Grella said. 

She created an Instagram account, @pg_jewelry, at the beginning of her business. Since then, her jewelry account has grown to have 159 followers. On the account, Grella posts the most recent products she makes.

Other students, such as senior Catie Leonard, have taken their support for Grella’s  business to social media.

“Everyone would send in a picture of them wearing a piece of her jewelry,” Leonard said. “One day I decided to make a video because I wanted to verbally say how much I loved them, and I have made a lot of videos since then to show my support.”

The earrings she makes range from quirky to cute with charms such as butterflies, gummy bears, puppy paws, cherries, watermelons, flowers and colorful balls. 

“Everything that she makes is super fun, and I feel like it goes with my style,” Lana Al-botros said. 

In the future, Grella wants to expand her business to further places. She has already shipped a few orders outside of her school community.

“My former HR representative at JCPenney bought earrings for his wife and a bracelet for himself,” Grella said. “It has used the common interests of loving jewelry to make a community where we can all wear cute things. I see so many girls at school wearing it, and it is like a whole community that supports small businesses.”