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Monday, September 27, 2021

VibrationsViaVirgo: a student-run jewelry business

A UC Davis student combines her love for crystals, music and jewelry in her handcrafted jewelry business

As the pandemic carries on into the new year, students continue to find ways to express their creativity from home. Gabrielle Reid, a third-year communication major, combined her love for crystals and many different art forms to create her small business, VibrationsViaVirgo. Reid creates and sells handcrafted crystal jewelry including belly rings, earrings and necklaces.

While she has been making jewelry since she was young, Reid decided to turn this hobby into a business during quarantine. She developed the idea last summer, based on her interest in finding jewelry for herself.

“I have a belly piercing but I can never find super cute, unique belly rings,” Reid said. “I [wanted to] combine my love for crystals with belly rings so that people can have something cute but also spiritual to wear.”

Reid draws her inspiration from books on crystals that describe the qualities of different stones, as well as the chakras that each stone can activate. Reid combines these crystals accordingly to give her jewelry pieces a deeper meaning.

“My ‘Eternal Self Love’ belly ring is made with rose quartz, which is great for heart chakra,” Reid said. “Rose quartz is the stone of love and I wanted everyone who wears it to be able to foster self-love from that piece.”

The “Eternal Self Love” belly ring made with rose quartz.

On top of being a student and small business owner, Reid creates her own music. She finds ways to incorporate this art form into her business by making pieces inspired by lyrics she has written.

“My business is unique because I blend so many aspects into it,” Reid said. “I include a business card that encompasses my music links as well, so I love when people tell me, ‘I love your jewelry and I checked out your music.’ Just being able to share my art in so many different ways with people is my favorite part.”

In addition to giving a personal meaning to each of her pieces, Reid also strives to ensure that they are made of high quality materials. While she can find some beads at craft stores, she said she sources most of her crystals from reliable vendors online.

“I buy them from actual crystal bead vendors on Etsy, so they’re really high quality,” Reid said. “I really pride myself in not having belly rings that are just going to break. I buy the bases from a quality wholesale vendor as well.”

Wire-wrapped hoop earrings with rose quartz, aventurine and rainbow quartz.

In the process of creating her jewelry, Reid also makes a point to support other small business owners. She acquires additional materials from A Better Place to Bead, a local craft store in Davis that offers a selection of stones, beads and other materials used to create jewelry.

Despite the current restrictions in place, Reid’s business has grown through the use of social media. Her work is available on Etsy at VibrationsViaVirgo and on Instagram. Her prices for each piece range from $10-20. 

Reid has also sold her products at outdoor vending shows in Sacramento. During these vending shows, small business owners from the Sacramento area gather together to sell their products, listen to live music performances and network with one another. 

Briona Blanco, the owner of another small business called BeautyByBriona and the organizer of these shows, took measures to ensure the safety of all vendors and participants amid the pandemic. The event required participants to sign up, which let vendors know how many people were attending and how many were allowed at each booth at one time. Standard social distancing and safety measures were implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Although the pandemic has restricted the ability of business owners to sell their products in person, it has also given Reid a more flexible schedule to work on her craft. Because she is able to attend classes and work on her business from home, she finds herself with more time to do both.

“Since everything is online, I can just take breaks and work on my jewelry in the morning or at night,” Reid said. “It’s actually very manageable.”

A belly ring made with peach moonstone.

Each of her pieces are designed, put together and packaged by Reid herself. She said that this process is not very time-consuming.

“If I have to wire wrap them, that can take a good 20 minutes to make, but if it’s simple then it doesn’t take too long,” Reid said. “Then I just clean them, sanitize them, package them and ship them out.”

Despite not being able to see customers physically, Reid loves being able to connect with them online and share her art with them. 

“If someone has a favorite stone, I’m always willing to do [custom orders] even if I have to order that stone or find it,” Reid said. “If anyone has a piece that they want me to make for them, not only belly rings but also necklaces and earrings with stones, I’m always open. I just love getting my work out to people.”
Written by: Liana Mae Atizado — features@theaggie.org

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