Meet Madison Auer! She is a Junior Communications major, with a minor in Art, from Baltimore Maryland. She is one of the most heavily involved people on campus. Auer works as a Barista at Saxbys, leads the Love Your Melon campus crew, and runs her own bead business (yes you heard that right, a bead business). She is the curator of “madauer beads”, a line of self designed bracelets. Auer runs every aspect of the business, she makes, markets and sells each bracelet for $15. Auer is one of the many SJU students with their own side business. Her beads have a pretty big presence on hawk hill, so we decided to sit down with her and explore the story of madauer beads.
When did you start your bead business?
I have always loved crafts and making things, but I especially loved making bracelets ever since I was little. I remember making just about every bracelet. I first started with traditional threaded friendship bracelets, and then made my way up to beaded bracelets when I worked at a local pool snack bar near my house during high school. I would spend hours making bracelets and just experimenting with different designs. The summer after my freshman year here at SJU, I decided to start making set bracelet designs to make my beads more unique. Since I love the beach and the ocean, I drew a lot of inspiration from my time at the beach during the summer. All six bracelets in my set collection have a beach-inspired name. Looking back, I think you could say that my bead business was always sort of present through my passion for jewelry making, but it really began that summer after my freshman year of college.
Why beads? What sparked your interest in creating your own store?
I ultimately decided to go with beads because they matched the aesthetic I was going for. Since I drew a lot of inspiration from the beach, I really felt as though the blue, white, and black/ grey hues of my beads matched the vibe of the ocean, sand, and other elements of the beach. I was really sparked to create my own store after receiving interest from others who wanted to purchase my beaded bracelets. I would often make them for friends or family members as gifts. However, I started getting a lot of interest from others who wanted to purchase them, so it definitely pushed me to consider selling them. As I began selling my beads, I realized I could market them through my Instagram and blog. It’s awesome to look back now and see how much my brand has grown since the beginning!
How did you develop your overall brand?
Growing my brand honestly happened so authentically and naturally that I don’t know how to articulate it through words. I think that I have always had a “set aesthetic” just because of who I am and what I am drawn towards. I feel as though I channel a lot of myself and what I like into my beads and the overall branding of them that I do through my Instagram. For those reasons, branding my beads has never felt like a job or obligation. I genuinely love posting about them and making them for others! However, looking back at that summer where it all started, I think that having my brand rooted in the beach and finding inspiration there definitely grounded my beads in a set look. As I said before, I love the beach, so finding inspiration in one of my favorite places was an amazing place to start.
What inspired you to begin this business/brand?
Through my freshman Intro to Communications course here at SJU, my interest and love for blogging / personal branding was sparked. I began following many lifestyle bloggers and women who have created amazing brands through their presence online. I was immediately inspired and realized that this is something that I have always had a passion for. I think seeing others accomplish personal branding through their own social media platforms inspired me and gave me the push I needed to just go for it. I am also a strong believer in doing the things that make you happy and don’t feel like work. I always remind myself that the things that do not feel like work are the ones that I am meant to be doing because that means I truly love and enjoy it. When I work on my beads, whether that be making them by hand, putting together packages to ship, wrapping them, or posting about them, I am always enjoying it 100% and feel happy to be doing it, which tells me that I am where I should be!
What is your favorite bracelet that you have made/why?
Ah, I love this question! If I had to pick one, I would say that my favorite bracelet I have made is my blessed bracelet (pictured above). I created blessed this past summer as an addition to my set collection of six. I was nervous to introduce this one to my collection because I was unsure of how people would react to it. Looking back, I should not have been nervous at all – it has been my highest selling bracelet so far! I love it because I think that it truly represents something different to everyone. For me, blessed reminds me of my authenticity and what it means to stay true to myself and who I am. It reminds me to trust in who I was made to be and stay grounded in everything I was given in life, especially my blessings.