Eleven-year-old Emily Hirsk is home schooled and as part of her education her mother Sarah encouraged her to use her creative skills to make earrings which she sells online and at local craft fairs.
“We focus a lot on business as part of our home education and so I had to try to think of something I could sell at a Christmas fair that my mum had booked a stand for us at,” explained Emily.
“I thought of making earrings because I thought it would be a good seller. I love earrings myself, I love getting creative and I have fun making them. I like making people happy.
“I started by buying all the charms and all the jewellery parts that were needed. I already had a tool box with pliers and stuff so that helped. My Dad let me borrow his tools but now I have all my own.”
From these small beginnings, Emily began to grow her business and is loving the experience of creating pieces that people love to wear.
“I decided this year that I wanted to build my business more,” continued Emily. “I wanted to offer a bigger range. I also wanted to offer a higher quality range as well as a fun, affordable, budget range.
“So, I started making earrings with an option to have sterling silver hooks, which are great for sensitive ears and higher quality for gift giving.”
Emily has been blown away by the support she has received, as well as the reaction from her customers. “When I started, I didn’t even have a desk, so we asked on Facebook and a nice man in Belfast gave me one free,” she explained “So now I have storage and a special place to work.
“The reaction from customers has been really sweet. I have a few customers who order regularly. I am also so happy because people send me lovely messages and pictures of them wearing my designs, out on nights out. I’ve had Kathy Conlon, winner of the Firmus Woman of the Year award, science category, wear my design and tag me in her social media. That was so fun. I’ve also had customers as far away as New Zealand, who have tagged my page wearing my earrings.”
Emily is expanding her range and hopes to continue to create other types of jewellery as her business grows. “I’ve just recently begun to create a premium range using gold- and silver-plated jewellery pieces and some with crystal detailing. I’m so excited about that. I have just started making studs as some people were requesting them, and I have been thinking about creating matching pendants.”
Emily’s mum Sarah is so proud of her daughter’s talent and said that starting the business has really helped her to develop academically, creatively, and socially.
“Emily was always a creative child but would have been quite shy,” explained Sarah. “Since she’s been focusing on learning new business skills, developing her talent with jewellery making and attending craft fairs, shes developed a new self confidence. She handles herself so well socially. Developing this business has been a wonderful experience for her. She is, not only confident in herself, but in her skills and her ability and she is business savvy. She is an inspiring little business woman.”
Emily, together with her older sister Eva (13) who creates pieces out of resin, will have stalls at the summer fair at Hillsborough Village Centre on Saturday July 30 from 9.30am until 4pm.
You can also view and purchase Emily’s creations from her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/emilymakes2022