by Sam O’Keefe,
Does the Plum Creek Boutique sound familiar? Probably not. In fact, many students and faculty at AHS are widely unaware of a latent, lucrative business conducted by a fellow student and classmate. Maddie Goldstein, a 16-year-old junior involved in the high school’s Drama club, and a diligent Honors student, owns her own successful jewelry business, which she began at the age of 10.
Her mother bought her an arts and crafts book, which taught her to make bottle cap jewelry. After using up all of the materials provided by the instruction book, Goldstein had made far more necklaces than she could give away to family and friends.
At a Robbins Library craft show for young entrepreneurs, the young girl was overjoyed at earning $100. Her business had already taken flight, when she was only in the 5th grade.
Since her first steps in the business, making bottle cap necklaces at which she became an expert, her product line slowly has become more mature, sophisticated and technical. In this evolution, Goldstein has come to appeal to a wider audience, explaining, “Over time, my business has changed for the better, both in the products I sell, how I brand my business, and the way in which I run my business in general.”
Her current product line includes a variety of items, as she makes several kinds of jewelry and hair accessories. A common theme of her products features flowers molded out of clay. Her more cultured products are made with pieces of glass tiles. The line’s hair accessories are produced using wool felt, which is cut and rearranged to form flowery shapes.
Goldstein’s particular choice of materials adds to her products’ unique, chic, and original looks. The poise and style that the products emanate make them distinctively their own and clamor for them has increased significantly since that first library craft fair nearly 6 years ago.
Goldstein is open to making custom pieces of jewelry for individuals upon request. Customers can pick out colors and materials they would like to be included in their jewelry. Her prices range from about $5 to $15.
As a 3rd year high school student, Goldstein undoubtedly encounters challenges with putting a sufficient amount of time into her business, as she is busy with several advanced classes, student clubs, extra-curriculars, and familial commitments. “It’s definitely a balancing act. School is my first priority, followed by my extra-curriculars, and then my business”, she explains.
In anticipation of the busy and sometimes chaotic nature of the school year, the jewelry maker often works hard over the summer to produce all of her products.
The holiday season is often when the business is most active, as fall and winter craft fairs occur around the area. Summer also can have a number of fairs that result in success. Annual events Goldstein sells at are Arlington Town Day and the Bishop School craft fair.
In terms of the future, Goldstein plans to continue the self-made business, as it is an invaluable learning experience and a sentimental one that she would likely never want to abandon. Although it doesn’t look to be in her future career, she hopes to maintain it for “as long as [she] can.”
Currently, the accomplished junior does not have a way to showcase her products to prospective customers, but she is hoping to create a website to present her items in an online exhibit. This wish fortunately coincides with her strong interest in graphic design, thus, forthcoming ventures for her business include an upgrade in marketing and communication.
Goldstein exclaims, “I have a new product line that I’m really excited about in the works and that will be coming out next year!” These new products are based upon what she has currently, but are different in shape and material.
Maddie just left on Jan. 22 for City Term, a semester-long school in New York City. There she will take her regular classes, and she will return in late May.
Maddie may be contacted regarding interest in her products at email@example.com.