After simply buying materials to try out a new hobby, Iman Malik ‘22 and Emilija Risteska ‘22 never imagined that the rings and necklaces they were making for themselves would be sported by their peers around school.
“If I know I sold [jewelry] to [a student], [seeing] them wearing it in their Instagram post or around school shows that they genuinely like wearing it,” Malik said. “It’s the coolest thing.”
In September of 2020, Malik and Risteska officially started their jewelry business, Jaded Jewelry, Malik said. After their family and friends wanted in on their designs, they realised that they could make a business out of their passion. An online store, which can be found through an Instagram search, features their pieces ranging from a $7 ring to a $20 necklace. Their creations stemmed from numerous inspirations, most noticeably the brand Joolz by Martha Calvo.
“[Martha Calvo] was so trendy and everyone [wanted] this jewelry, so we wanted to learn how to make it, but changed it up by adding different beads that we liked to the pieces,” Malik said.
Since returning back to full time, in-person learning, the duo is working to balance their business with school, Risteska said. Finding open time to work on the jewelry and complete orders can be challenging.
“We try our hardest to get them done as soon as possible,” Risteska said. “We have specific days where we’ll sit down and get a lot of them done, because if not, the orders are just gonna keep coming and piling up.”
With an estimated 120 orders, the girls have heard nothing but positive comments from their customers, which is an affirming fuel that keeps them producing more work, Risteska said. Josh Pinter ‘22, one of the many local customers of Jaded Jewelry, hasn’t taken off his Evil Eye ring since he purchased it, he said.
“Everything looks and feels high quality,” Pinter said. “I think it’s so cool that Iman and Emilija started a jewelry business. It’s such a creative way to express fashion, and I think everyone should buy something from them.”
Malik and Risteska plan on continuing their business until they start college next year. The best way to purchase a piece from Jaded Jewelry is to reach out via their Instagram account @theofficicaljadedjewelry.