First-Year Student Exhibits Creative Entrepreneurship
Ever since she was a young girl, Sarah Jo Tucker, a first-year student majoring in digital forensics, has loved to make jewelry. Starting out by stringing plastic and wooden beads, she would show up at gatherings of her large, extended family intent on selling her creations to her aunts, uncles and cousins.
“It became the expectation that Sarah would have something to sell to everyone,” says Sharon Tucker, Sarah Jo’s mother, who was helping her sell jewelry on Valentine’s Day outside the dining hall. “The next thing I knew, she had an Etsy shop!”
As time passed, Tucker discovered that she could make some real money, and her childhood passion turned into a creative pastime that has helped her pay for school books, her phone, clothes, and last year, paid for many of the Christmas gifts she bought for her family and friends.
Tucker named her business Red Silent Wolf Jewelry because wolves are her favorite animal and a good friend used to call her “Red.”
“Also, because I tend to be a quiet person. The name is a bit lengthy, though, and I may change it one day,” she says. For now, Tucker can be found by searching for her business name on Etsy, where she has nearly 700 “favorites” and five stars or on her Red Silent Wolf Jewelry Facebook page, which has over 700 followers.
“I’m hoping to create my own website and approach shops to sell my items one day, once I get a larger customer base and more stock,” she says.
Tucker’s creative bent comes naturally from her immediate family, with a mother who is a painter and marketing consultant, a brother who is a graphic designer and a father who is a musician.
Using old jewelry she finds at flea markets and yard sales — sometimes she can buy a whole bag of jewelry for a few dollars — she creates new and unique pieces that are as individualistic as the person who buys them.
Adding semi-precious stones such as raw Rose Quartz, African Quartz to some, and in others, glass and Druzy, a manmade stone, Tucker assembles unique necklaces, bracelets and earrings in designs that often come to her when falling asleep or listening to music.
She calls this hobby therapeutic and also educational.
“I’ve learned about marketing and search engine optimization through Etsy and learned about new kinds of jewelry too,” she says as she displays some diffuser jewelry that contain lava beads onto which customers can place essential oils. “But mostly, I like how relaxing it is. It’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day.”
While a student at CHC, Tucker is focused on following her dream of pursuing a career with the federal government and already has looked at job opportunities in Washington, D.C. Currently, in addition to her jewelry business, she works in the Dean’s Office, the mailroom and is a note taker for a disabled student. She also is considering minoring in Spanish, which she knows would help her career.
“As the second most-spoken language in the United States, it would definitely help me get my foot in the door somewhere,” she says.