Teen Jewelry Designs Appeal To Retailers

By Michael Tsai
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Maddie Lee, a freshman at La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls, is the founder of “E Nani Hawaii”, a personal jewelry brand which she initially marketed primarily on Instagram.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hawaii’s most buzz-worthy designer of jewelry and other accessories has proved preternaturally in tune with the tastes of modern teenagers and, prior to making her wares available via traditional bricks-and-mortar outlets, showed the kind of adeptness with social media marketing that makes modern retailers swoon.

So what if she’s 14?

Maddie Lee, a freshman at La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls, didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, but her early love of arts and crafts and her natural predisposition to staying on task and striving for perfection made the developments of the last year and a half almost inevitable.

“I started out with little clay figures, and crocheting and making charms and jewelry out of Shrinky-Dink,” said Lee, who is also a skilled illustrator.

In time, Lee’s interest in fashion guided her to jewelry design. Using materials readily at hand from her earlier craft explorations, Lee set about making bracelets, necklaces and earrings, each piece unique to her own artistic vision and impulse.

Lee’s creations didn’t escape the notice of her friends at school, and soon, in the spirit of homemade slime hawkers nationwide, she was an active player in the playground economy.

Lee considers her style “modern,” with inspiration drawn from her island surroundings, both natural and urban. From early explorations with simple sea beads and thread, Lee has taught herself to work with a broad variety of more sophisticated and challenging materials like gold, sterling silver, African cowrie shells, Japanese sea beads and more.

“I’m very colorful,” she said. “And I love working with different patterns, textures and shapes.”

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