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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

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Junior Rhiannon Markaj helps sophomore Avery Robbins create a keychain at a workshop held at Rhiannon’s house. She hosts jewelry workshops to teach her community about jewelry making.

Junior Rhiannon Markaj pursues her passion of creating jewelry

While some view making jewelry as merely a hobby, others have turned it into an artistic form of self-expression. Stringing together beads has become a unique way for people to convey their emotions and experiences. Each piece that is crafted has a story and reflects the unique personality of the artist who created it.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School may use crafting as a means by which they express their creativity. Junior Rhiannon Markaj is one of them and has started shopjewelrhis, a handmade jewelry business.

However, starting a business dedicated to her passion for jewelry making was not a recent idea. She started selling bracelets when she was 12-years-old and has since begun making different types of pieces as well. Her shop includes beaded jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, accessories and hand sewn plush keychains.
Her jewelry prices span a wide range, with smaller pieces priced between $10 and $15 and more elaborate designs priced between $30 and $60. This pricing structure ensures that all customers can afford, enjoy and appreciate her craftsmanship.

The pride Markaj has in her jewelry craft is evident in the significant amount of time and effort she consistently invests in her work.

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“Some stuff can take up to 10 minutes and some up to five-six hours,” Markaj said. “It’s ultimately worth it as long as the customer is happy.”

Her attention to detail when crafting pieces, along with the large amount of time she dedicates to her business, underscores her dedication to achieving excellence in jewelry making. Markaj approaches every design as if it were an opportunity to showcase her ideas. From the initial idea to the final piece, she immerses herself wholeheartedly. Markaj’s dedication demonstrates her commitment to producing high-quality, hand-crafted pieces.

Markaj has created workshops in which, once a month, she teaches her peers about jewelry making, business and everything in between. Her workshops tend to take place in group settings where attendees are able to expand on their jewelry making knowledge and learn from Markaj’s experience. They cover a wide range of topics, from arts and crafts to professional development.

The first workshops took place in her home, which gave them a warm and personal touch. However, as her workshop series grows, the next session may be held at Cascata at Miralago, providing a more accommodating and spacious environment. This potential change in venue promises to further enhance the overall workshop experience, offering participants more room to work.

“I enjoyed her first workshop, we created keychains, hair clips and earrings,” freshman Ariana Moore said. “I’ve always been interested in creating things but it has definitely become more of an interest now.”

The workshops are designed to be accessible to everyone. For that reason, there is a sliding scale fee structure.

For each session, the customer has the flexibility to choose a price between $25 and $40, with the higher prices offering greater benefits. A higher payment gains an attendee access to higher quality equipment and materials. The rest of the profit goes towards food for the workshop attendees.

“I chose to create these workshops as something fun for my friends, customers and myself,” Markaj said. “I love doing what I do and I want others to enjoy it too.”

Other than workshops, Markaj attends markets to sell her jewelry. In the past, she has attended Correlias Gift Shop and Goods, AngelsOnlyMiami, South Florida Craft Show and the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Networking at markets has been a way for Markaj to promote her business and gain new clientele.

When Markaj is not making jewelry, she is often reading. Previously, she has even combined the two hobbies and made jewelry inspired by books, including a matching earring and necklace set inspired by “Red Queen,” by Victoria Aveyard. In addition to a book collection, Markaj also has a Bath and Body Works collection, both of which bring her great joy.

“I have two bookshelves in my room that I constantly add to,” Markaj said. “It’s either that or my Bath and Body Works collection.”

Her dedication to her handmade jewelry business reflects her intense passion for creating and craftsmanship, as well as her commitment to sharing her skills with her community. She looks forward to building her business by doing what she loves most.

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About the Contributors
Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva, Reporter
Daniel Silva is a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. He is a first-year reporter. He enjoys playing sports and hanging out with his friends.
Natalia Solera
Natalia Solera, Reporter
Natalia Solera is a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She loves listening to music from every genre. In her free time, she spends time with her nephew.
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