Many people during the COVID-19 pandemic found themselves faced with extra time in their usually hectic schedules. Two Millersville University students used their time to channel their creativity and energy into business ventures.
Senior Megan Hlodash decided to start making jewelry. She says she made crafts and jewelry with her mom at a young age. So, when her summer internship was canceled due to the pandemic, she saw it as the perfect time to start making jewelry again.
She named her blossoming business Lowdash Creations, a nod to her last name, and started selling her jewelry through Etsy, promising that each pair is, “individually handmade with love.”
“I have always loved statement earrings and thought it would be a fun way to express my art and make some extra cash,” says Hlodash. “At first, I was just selling to family and friends but now it has grown to places like Texas, Tennessee and even California! Seeing all the support on social media is definitely a motivating experience.”
Inspired by her friends and big statement earrings, Hlodash makes sure each pair has a unique touch that pays homage to her support system. “I name all my earrings after my friends for a personal touch. Many times, I even make earrings with my friends and roommates. They inspire me to try new styles, colors and ideas.”
Being an applied engineering major with a concentration in graphic communications has allowed Hlodash to apply her knowledge from the MU classroom into her growing business.
“In my major, we learn a lot about design and business management. Through this, I was able to design my own graphics and posts with what I have learned, talked to print shops with confidence, and effectively run my business. I have been able to handle promotions, financials and other important aspects with ease.”
Senior Emily Crouthamel was inspired to start her own business, Handmade from Em, after starting her entrepreneurship minor.
“My minor completely sparked my interest in starting a business of my own. I enjoy being able to make my own hours and getting to know my customers personally.”
Based on her own interest in art and fashion, Crouthamel decided that going into the jewelry business would be the best fit for her. “I decided to get into the earring business because I have always loved how earrings can add a lot to an outfit or look and I have always enjoyed art. I also wanted to find something to keep me busy during quarantine, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me.”
Crouthamel looks for inspiration for her earrings all around her. “What most inspires me for my earrings are different seasons, colors and shapes. I also offer custom orders which inspires creativity and new ideas.”
Additionally, Crouthamel decided she wanted to make a difference with her earrings through donating a part of her profits to the Loveland Foundation’s Therapy Fund.
“I not only wanted to start a small business but make this an opportunity to donate some of the profits I made to an organization that empowers women. I had also been educating myself more on the Black Lives Matter movement and thought this would be a good opportunity to do both. I came across the Loveland Foundation and their Therapy Fund which strives to provide financial assistance to Black women and girls all over the country in order for them receive therapy support,” says Crouthamel.
For each pair of earrings that has been sold, $2 has been donated to the Loveland Foundation’s Therapy Fund. To date, Crouthamel has raised over $150 for the fund.
“I want to thank everyone for the love and support,” shares Crouthamel. “Let’s continue to make a difference, one pair of earrings at a time!”