Earrings have always been glued to my ears; without them I feel naked. Yet, despite this attachment, I often found myself struggling to find the “perfect” pair. I always envisioned the type of earrings I wanted, but I could never find the originality I sought. I soon grew tired of this problem and decided to create my own earrings.

Wanting to ensure originality, I decided to make my earrings representative of me. To fulfill this vision, I settled on an “evil eye” design. The evil eye symbolizes protection from the cynical “eye” of others and is connected to culture. I decided that the evil eye charm would be from an old broken bracelet, the supporting beads would come from an old craft kit–this way, my earrings would be one of a kind. Once my vision was complete, I started the earring-making process. Taking inspiration from many ‘how-to” videos, I incorporated different aspects into my earrings. After some trial and error, I found what worked best for me and successfully produced my own earrings! I was amazed at what my creativity, determination, and vision had produced.

After this first set of earrings, earring making grew into a hobby, becoming my main pastime during the nation’s COVID-19 lockdowns. The more earrings I made, the more support I received from my family and friends. This overwhelming interest in my designs prompted me to transform my hobby into a socially minded business oriented to aid the San Diego homeless community. To maximize my impact, I kept my costs low by reusing beads from broken bracelets and necklaces, advertising on social media, and hand-delivering products. This allowed me to donate 50% of my gross sales to the San Diego Food Bank and provide over 400 meals to
families in need.

Although I can no longer sit at my desk for hours making earrings and running my small business, I can still wear the unique earrings I created. They have become a direct extension of me, reminding me daily of my problem-solving capabilities, creativity, and the impacts of ethical
entrepreneurship.


About Your Columnist

Liane Barkhordar is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence. Liane graduated from University City High School with a 4.58 GPA. At UC High, Liane played on the varsity lacrosse team and is president of the homeless outreach club. In her free time she enjoys making earrings, watching the sunset, and spending time with her family and friends. Liane is continuing her education at UC San Diego, studying political science on a pre-law track. She also aspires to do a minor in business.

 


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