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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“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

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Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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