Young Entrepreneur Launches Jewelry Line

By Angela Oliver Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the amazing second-grader who is running her own company, "Lucy Bird Jewelry." The name is derived from her nickname, Jaybird, which people call her because of her middle name, Jagoe. The line of necklaces and bracelets feature brightly colored beads, puffs, tassels and small animal figures. Some also bear phrases like "Girl Squad," "Wild Child" and "Bookworm."

Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

Lucy Jagoe Chaney has her father's entrepreneurial spirit and her mother's gift of art.

On a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, during the summer, the 7-year-old saw another girl's necklace "and thought, hey, I can do that."

So with help from her father, Travis Chaney, she wrote a business plan and three months later, she's hard at work for Lucy Bird Jewelry.

"Watching her business grow, and even when she came to us with the business plan, blows me away because she shows such a mixture of both of us," said her mother Christy Taylor Chaney. "I was so excited that she had a vision for her work. We've always done art pieces together and she gets the business side from her dad. It's amazing to see yourself in your children."

While the rate of private business ownership among people younger than 30 is at a 24-year low -- factors include lack of experience and hesitant investors, less access to capital and credit, unsharpened soft skills and a low tolerance for risk, according to a 2015 Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve Data -- such ventures as entrepreneurship/business camps camps for children and teens are growing in popularity to combat that.

When Lucy Jagoe isn't practicing her guitar, piano or dance routines, the Deer Park Elementary School second-grader focuses on making jewelry, mostly on nights and weekends.

Lucy Bird Jewelry is derived from her nickname, Jaybird, which people call her because of her middle name, Jagoe. The line of necklaces and bracelets feature brightly colored beads, puffs, tassels and small animal figures. Some also bear phrases like "Girl Squad," "Wild Child" and "Bookworm."

"Mom helps me with spelling some of the words," Lucy Jagoe said. "It takes me about three minutes to make each piece of jewelry. I have a tiny sister; she's 7 months so she can't help yet, but my brother Ryland (12) helps sometimes, too."

The family's art studio, filled with every craft one can think of, is one of Lucy Jagoe's favorite places.

"We wanted one room where our kids could be free to create and express themselves, and this is it," Christy Chaney said.

"We're glad it led her to making jewelry. I made beaded jewelry as well when I was in high school. She's much younger and she's taking it seriously. We are very proud of her."

Lucy Jagoe's first experience in selling her jewelry was at the East Bridge Art and Music Festival in early September. The event is presented by Studio Slant, an art gallery, store and studio that Christy Chaney co-owns with her sister, Katherine Taylor.

"Her teachers were understanding enough to allow her to miss school one day because the festival was an educational experience," Chaney said. "She prepared 300 pieces, she learned interpersonal skills, how to present herself, how to conduct sales, how to use her iPad for swiping credit cards. It taught her a lot."

Lucy Jagoe hopes to grow her business and "go to market in Atlanta," meaning she wants to sell her jewelry line to other stores in that regional market. Chaney said a few stores in other cities have also contacted the young entrepreneur, thanks to what they've seen on Instagram and other online posts people made during art festival.

She also has a plan for her revenue.

"I used to want to buy a jukebox, but I want to used the money I make for college so I can have a good education."

Lucy Bird Jewelry is available at Studio Slant or on Instagram @LucyBirdJewelry.

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