Student-owned jewelry businesses sparkle during quarantine


Presley Spiller

Soaking in the sunlight, are Presley Spiller’s (10) handmade earrings. Her handcrafted accessories are available from her co-owned business, Cosmo Girls Jewelry.

As you’re about to walk out the door, you think your outfit is missing something. A necklace? A bracelet? Earrings? Laila Shannon (12) and Presley Spiller (10) have the perfect accessories for any outfit with jewelry from their quarantine-birthed businesses. 

Shannon’s business, P.Y.T. Customs (@p.y.t.customs on Instagram), was developed out of boredom and the desire to make affordable Pandora-style bracelets.

“You can be like boujee on a budget,” Shannon said. 

 Shannon’s bracelets include unique charms that she gathers from Esty, Amazon and different Instagram vendors. The charms vary from angels for those who have passed away to lollipops for children’s bracelets. 

“If I have a customer that just purchased, they will be like ‘I love the charms so much. They really go with my outfit,’ things like that,” Shannon said.

The Pandora-style bracelets sell for $12 pre-made and $15 custom, while her bangle bracelets are $5 to $8 pre-made and $10 custom. 

“Making my customers happy…that would be my favorite part [of the business],” Shannon said.

Spiller’s jewelry business, Cosmo Girls Jewelry (@cosmogirlsjewelry on Instagram), is shared with her partner Sofia Gutierrez, who attends Crosstown High School. Spiller began creating necklaces for herself over quarantine, which later led to the blossoming of their business.

“We just kinda wanted to start something, you know… get a business going, some entrepreneurial things,” Spiller said.

Cosmo Girls Jewelry sells handmade earrings and necklaces, which are made from the girls’ large variety of materials. Clay, glass, and plastic beads are all combined to make the jewelry eclectic. 

“We kind of joke around, we’re like this is … jewelry that a kindergartener would wear, but honestly it’s just like … something we like,” Spiller said. “Just really colorful, unique, honestly it mismatches until it matches and I really like that.”

Cash and Venmo are the payment options for the necklaces which cost around $12 and earrings which sell for around $8. Twenty percent of their sales are donated to the Black Lives Matter foundation and Latino Memphis ten percent to each organization. 

“We’re not just saying that we want to donate to BLM and Latino Memphis … to get more business, we simply just want to give back to those communities … that is really important… they do a lot of good things,” Spiller said. 

Although Spiller and Shannon enjoy having their own jewelry businesses, they still are normal high school students with other activities. 

“Just being a teenager itself is difficult and then to incorporate your own little business into it it’s just incorporating all this time management,” Spiller said. 

Besides getting to express their creativity and making a profit, Shannon and Spiller enjoy the more human aspects of their businesses. 

“Of course you make money off it and then you also donate to people… it’s honestly just really great, it just makes us really happy,” Spiller said.