Q&A With A Teen Jewelry Entrepreneur

Young Millennials are turning to super-niche interests to both soothe themselves and to stand out in the crowd. From baking and crafting to being into Victorian art or old soap operas, young Millennials are a demo looking for and celebrating increasingly narrow diversions. Last year we asked if you were ready for the super niche-interest young Millennials. Today we’re giving you a look at one of their lives, in a Q&A with 15-year-old jewelry entrepreneur Payton Bartos. Payton began making jewelry at age 13 and her hobby has turned into FizzCandy Jewelry, a handcrafted jewelry company that she owns and runs with her mom. Thanks to participation with The Artisan Group, Payton’s jewelry has appeared on an episode of The Vampire Diaries, at The Golden Globes, and was gifted to celebrity guests and presenters at the MTV Movie Awards this year. We talked with Payton, and her mom and business director Mila, about being a teen entrepreneur and maker, having family business meetings in the car, and what the future might hold for her budding business:
 
Ypulse: Take us through how FizzCandy got its start. Did you always dream of being a jewelry designer?
 
Payton Bartos: I’ve always liked doing little projects, like knitting, drawing. A friend of mine introduced me to jewelry and wire crafting. I really just watched her and figured out how to do it myself and I thought I should probably apply this, so I went out and got some wire and a couple beads and started making bracelets. It took me a little while to figure out, but then I started making like 5 pieces at home a night and then I would go into school and give it out to people for free, just because I had too much. My grandmother sold jewelry, so my mom knows a lot about retail, selling, and that kind of market. We had this huge…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Master of None represents my generation because it takes the little things (going to a taco place) and expands on how the choices are debilitating.”—Female, 33, MN

We know how many Millennials planned to watch last night’s debates, but how many knew they could watch in virtual reality? VR social network AltspaceVR has created an experience that allows participants to watch live debates virtually, in a VR re-creation of NBC News Democracy Plaza at New York’s Rockefeller Center. At the launch party, attendees, including Al Roker, were represented as avatars and instead of applause, emojis were used to express reactions. AltspaceVR has been working to build a virtual community over the past year and hopes to bring people together during “a bitterly divided campaign” with the new experience. (The Verge

The latest smart toys are getting kids away from screens. Global sales of smart toys are expected to increase from $2.8 billion in 2015 to $11.3 billion by 2020, and according to one expert, synching a toy to a phone or tablet will soon be as common as putting in batteries. To appease parents concerned with screen time, these toys are increasingly about physically interacting with the toy itself, putting apps in the background. One example of the trend is Smarty: an internet-connected personal assistant for kids that answers questions, reminds them to do their homework, streams music and books, and more. (The Guardian

What’s holding back the Millennials from creating more startups? Money. A new study found that 72% of 18-34-year-olds see entrepreneurship as being "essential for new innovation and jobs in our economy," and almost eight in ten see working for a startup “a signal of success”—but only 22% say they would start one of their own. Lack of capital is holding four in ten back from taking the risk—for women and minorities that number is even higher. (Business Insider

Toy brands are constantly competing for kids’ attention, and now that industry drama is coming to the small screen. Amazon is introducing Toy Wars, a drama series based on the rivalry between toy giants Hasbro and Mattel. The show is based on the non-fiction book Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them, which follows a “free spirit” Hasbro executive who was forced to take over the company when his “marketing genius” brother passed away from AIDS. The series will be co-written by Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad and The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, whose father helped turned Hasbro into a top toy company. (Deadline

Communal housing is a growing Millennial trend, but it also dates back to the Middle Ages. Co-housing groups have been catching on as young people and families look to share household responsibilities, cut costs, and have a deeper sense of community with others. While it might seem strange in modern times, the instinct is ancient: According to A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values, medieval Europe homes were “essentially gathering places for small groups of revolving residents,” where people lived with friends and extended communities. (The Atlantic

Quote of the Day: “Adventure Time is the show that best represents my generation because we like the nostalgic aspect of watching cartoons but we also like off-the-wall plots.” –Male, 21, MI 

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