by, Colleen E. McNamara, Staff Writer
As classes, athletics, clubs and work obligations start back up again, despite how abnormal each of those daily events might appear, it is easy to forget the endless boredom or free time most people faced in the past few months. Quarantine meant a sudden shift in routine, which allowed students to rediscover old hobbies, reestablish family connections or even reinvent themselves.
For Izzy Frazza, a sophomore philosophy and peace and justice studies major, quarantine meant starting a personal online jewelry company via Instagram, called “Art by Iz” during her free time this summer.
“I was creating things just for fun, being stuck in my house with quarantine, I was creating a lot more earrings than what I had to do with it, so, I thought if people like this, why not make some money off of it, and give the earnings to a good cause,” Frazza said. “I started around July, mainly making earrings but also bracelets, since some people don’t wear earrings as much, and most recently, working on paintings, which I have been slowly adding to the instagram page.”
Frazza personally crafts each item she sells, offering prices that reflect the time she spends making the piece.
“Some products are faster than others to create, that’s how I decide the prices I want to set for each item,” she said. “Prices are based on the allotted costs to purchase the products, the supplies to make the jewelry, and the type of art itself. The bracelets are less expensive because they are a little quicker, the earrings on the other hand, I have to hand wrap the wires so it takes a little bit longer — though earrings are still the most popular item.”
Advertising one’s product typically can be done in a number of ways, yet given the current pandemic, the main source of communication is through social media.
“I started reaching out to my friends,” Frazza said. “I made some as gifts for my friends, asking them to post on their instagram story, and give me a quick shoutout, they were all open to doing that, and quickly, the word spread, hashtags helped.”
Another unique aspect about this sophomore’s company is that everything is up to the customer, whether that be color choice or jewelry style.
Frazza has samples of pieces she is selling on her Instagram platform for viewers to purchase or request a specific item.
In fact, one customer reached out to Izzy with the request to make a bracelet, since earrings were not an option.
“A lot of people make requests, the bracelets for instance, I hadn’t even thought to make bracelets, that was a request by a person who really liked my Black Lives Matter earrings, but didn’t wear earrings,” Frazza said.
Beyond the convenience and personalization options, the customers are given the opportunity to support an organization Frazza is passionate about.
“My inspiration to donate a portion of sales came from a combination of present-day issues,” Frazza said. “My end goal, I want to be a lawyer and hopefully work for American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] one day, and I’m really passionate about social justice, and helping people,” Frazza said.
She donated $25 of her first week’s sales and an additional $35 most recently to the same organization.
She supports the same values and beliefs that the ACLU represents.
“I wanted to select an organization that supports black lives, LGBTQ+ rights, and women’s reproductive health rights, the ACLU covers it all, is why I ultimately continue to show my support towards that organization,” Frazza said.
Frazza’s jewelry also conveys a message which parallels issues brought to light by the ACLU. Art by Iz reflects the social justice issues that are consuming a large amount of media content today. She plans to continue conveying issues important to her, such as encouraging everyone’s voice to be heard.
“Right now I’m working on bracelets that say V-O-T-E as we are nearing the election, I will be posting those soon,” Frazza said.
Anyone with a hobby, idea or some free time can use technology to their advantage and promote their product. As fall activities begin to resume, Frazza will continue her Instagram Business.
“Art by Iz is something I’ve been doing, just for fun, not too serious and will definitely keep up with my designing and making my jewelry,” Frazza said.