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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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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