As most students spend their Sunday evening finishing up homework, sophomores Mary Pat Patrizi and Phoebe Myers work together to finish the week’s orders for their recently-founded bracelet business, Beads for Awareness.
“We wanted to do something for the community,” Patrizi said. “We’re both into fashion and designing accessories, so we decided to start this.”
The business donates 20 percent of all proceeds to Casa de Esperanza, a charity that helps children who have suffered abuse and neglect.
“We were looking for a charity to donate to, and Casa de Esperanza really struck us,” Myers said. “It’s really special to us because many of the kids that are being helped are our age.”
Patrizi and Myers use their profits to buy new beads and materials from local bead shops and online stores.
Together the two sophomores produce the bracelets from scratch, seeing each piece through the entire process, from the design to the implementation. Patrizi and Meyers can customize a design based on customer preference.
“We pride ourselves on making our bracelets by hand instead of just ordering them online,” Patrizi said. “It adds a special touch.”
The designs range from $10 to $30, while customized pieces may sell for more. Fellow students have responded positively to the business.
“The bracelets are really cute, and I love that the profits are going to a good cause,” sophomore Ellie Trent said.
“Anyone can buy our bracelets, boys and girls, and they don’t have to be students at St. John’s,” Patrizi said.
Patrizi and Myers plan to expand their business, and recently they began to create other kinds of jewelry, including necklaces.
“We’d love to have more male customers,” Myers said, “We can definitely make things with a more masculine style.”
They have also expanded from their namesake beads and started using other materials, including leather and pearls.
“I think people will love our new designs,” Myers said . “We really enjoyed designing and creating them.”
The classmates have enjoyed bonding over their project.
“Mary Pat and I have always been good friends, and we’ve gotten a lot closer working on this business together,” Myers said.
Visit their Instagram (@beadsforawareness) to see a preview of their collection.
“We’ve only posted some of our designs on Instagram. Students should contact us directly if they would like a customized design or would like to see some more of our work,” Patrizi said.
Customers can order bracelets by emailing email@example.com.