To reshape her 2020 “blahs and inner thoughts,” social media way of life influencer Annie Austen picked up a pair of pliers. She’d been amassing jewelry-making kits for a long time — but never committed to placing the bounce rings, clasps, charms, and other pieces together.
An Etsy shop introduced with her more youthful brother, Matthew, changed every little thing, as the two began channeling their creative energy to craft and offer stylish chains to connect to confront masks.
“Making very little mask chains was just these types of a sweet way to experience a little little bit a lot more like myself through a incredibly strange time,” Austen explained of the origins powering Shop Annie Austen, a tarnish and hypoallergenic jewelry and accessories organization.
Austen built her practical experience in social media and influencer internet marketing by a personalized blog and freelance jobs — initially a facet hustle immediately after graduating from College of Central Missouri in 2013 with levels in psychology and sociology, and operating for 6 decades at Cerner.
Subconsciously, Austen claimed, she experienced been embedding herself in Kansas City’s maker scene all alongside. Several years in the past, she attended the indie craft reasonable, Strawberry Swing, to deal with it on her web site and Instagram. Her initiatives caught founder Katie van Dieren’s awareness, and Austen claimed she was questioned to do her very first Instagram takeover for the present.
“My god, did I really feel like I experienced designed it,” Austen claimed.
Another formative working experience for Austen was partnering with EB and Co.’s Emily Bordner, who she met through prior social media projects. Austen designed her have line of jewelry for the boutique, and by means of the approach, realized more about how little merchandise corporations run on top rated of what she presently understood about generating cash as an influencer.
Given that launching the Etsy shop in November 2020, Austen has stepped additional absent from her have Instagram to immerse herself into the jewelry enterprise with her brother. Matthew is an expert at stringing pearls and seed beads and earning her thoughts a actuality, she reported. Her other household associates perform critical roles as perfectly: her sister, who has sensitive ears, allows test every single piece, and her partner can make displays, manages finances, and experiments with new jewelry designs.
“I get pleasure from concentrating my power into earning factors that persons are going to dress in,” Austen said. But she additional, it hasn’t sunk in yet that she’s inspiring other people’s style. “The coolest point is likely someplace and managing into any individual who arrived to a pop-up or who acquired something and they are like, ‘Oh, I’m sporting your necklace.’ It’s absolutely wild to me.”
Click on below to shop Annie Austen.
Nonetheless in the early phases of creating the small business, Austen and her brother are planning for upcoming advancement. They want to do additional neighborhood-focused tasks, this sort of as the Cafe Cà Phê selection that lifted funds for the Vietnamese espresso shop’s brick-and-mortar place. And attending gatherings — like the Strawberry Swing and Getaway Boutique — is also a mainstay because they can develop brand name awareness by selling their types, conference lovers, and repairing people’s jewelry on the location.
In between shelling out time with her spouse, 4 cats, and two canines, listening to Dungeons & Dragons podcasts, beating Nintendo online games, climbing close to the city, choosing cherries with her mom, and fishing with her uncle, Austen is dedicated this time to the jewelry craft.
“When points start out clicking into location like this all has, you type of just have to lean into it,” Austen stated. “I experience so a great deal more glad with what I’m carrying out now and I truly feel a great deal far more at simplicity given that I’ve commenced heading with the flow and using chances as they occur.”
Apart from on the internet site, a variety of Annie Austen’s jewellery is available at Shop Neighborhood KC, the brand new Babe Regular store on the Plaza, and Initial Friday weekends at Bella Patina in the West Bottoms.
This tale is doable many thanks to help from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that will work jointly with communities in schooling and entrepreneurship to build unheard of options and empower men and women to condition their futures and be productive.