We all admire Hannah Montana for her double life, keeping her academic and professional personas separate. Here at Collegiate, we have two girls doing the same thing. Latané Rowland (‘16) and Katie Carr (‘16) have started their own jewelry businesses, Makibeads and Piece by Peace, respectively.
Makibeads, founded and run by Latané and her friend Maddy Sandlin (Class of 2016 at Glen Allen High School), has taken off from brainstorming in a journal at the beach. “[We] always had the idea to start a jewelry business… We were trying to think of beachy, summery names for our future business, and we looked through hundreds of words in different languages and found one Hawaiian word, Maki, which means ‘towards the ocean,’ which we thought had a nice ring to to it and fit our idea of the type of name we wanted to have,” says Latané. During the summer, most of their time is spent designing and making new pieces. During the school year, the academic workload takes over, and Latané and Maddy have to work more on their own, meeting on weekends to work together. What sets Makibeads apart from many other companies is that they donate 10% of their proceeds to Los Quinchos orphanage in Nicaragua. Latané spent a week at Los Quinchos in the summer of 2015, and after telling Maddy about her experiences there they decided it would be a perfect organization to donate to.
Latané says, “I want people to understand that we didn’t just start this business to make money for ourselves, in fact, we honestly don’t make THAT much money due to the fact there are two of us and Los Quinchos. We do this for Los Quinchos, and we do this because we have a passion for it.” Latané and Maddy also let anyone design necklaces for them to make. Necklaces designed by friends or customers are then named after their designer. Makibeads operates solely through Instagram, with hopes of expanding to Etsy in the future. Latané says that she hopes to have a spring collection out soon!
Katie’s jewelry business is known as Piece by Peace. “Initially I made jewelry pieces for fun because it helped me de-stress during junior year. I had so many necklaces lying around my room that I had just made for fun, and as people began to see me wearing them, more people became interested in them, and it grew from there. I loved all the different parts that went into the process and how you could create anything you wanted,” she says. Like Makibeads, Piece by Peace is run through Instagram and is busier during the summer. However, Katie has a different design approach. “Usually I start by ordering pendants online from all over the country and go from there. I like to start in the center of each piece and then work my way out by finding the right materials to go with the pendant. Once many different pieces come in the mail, I typically go to the bead store or order beads online that I think best match the style of the necklace I want to create,” says Katie. In addition to selling her pieces through Instagram, Katie has also held a trunk show at her house.
With Latané, Maddy, and Katie leaving for college in the fall, we do not yet know what the future holds for Makibeads and Piece by Peace. “We’d like to [continue], but we haven’t decided yet,” says Latané when asked about Makibeads and the transition to college. As for now, claim these pieces while you can, because they’re fashionable, affordable, and made by our fellow cougs!