A need for beads

Sophomore business marketing major Ashton Gonzalez’s handmade jewelry

Carissa Merchant, Contributing Writer

The last thing Ashton Gonzalez expected was for her peers to express interest in buying the custom-made necklaces she began making as a hobby. The sophomore business marketing major at UTSA started making a few necklaces for her friends who had asked for their own after noticing the ones she made for herself. Soon after, the word spread quickly, and many people were coming to Gonzalez to inquire about buying necklaces from her. 

Gonzalez’s staple is her colorful, beaded, maximalist-style necklaces, sometimes paired with rings, bracelets or anklets. However, her main focus is to keep her jewelry customizable and affordable for her customers. 

“I’ll ask them if they want certain colors, and I have some more expensive beads that I get from a farmers market that they can choose from,” Gonzalez said. “I also have letter beads that I can put on them.” 

Gonzalez offers her customers the option of buying one of her pre-made necklaces or a custom-made one with their chosen beads. After getting a sense of what they are hoping for, Gonzalez gathers the needed beads from either Hobby Lobby, Michaels or local farmers markets. Once she finishes making the necklace which usually takes about 15 minutes Gonzalez packages the jewelry in a small bag with a ribbon. 

Relying mainly on word of mouth and recommendations from her friends and previous customers, Gonzalez does not have a website or social media account specifically for her business. However, she is open to creating an Instagram account to show off her jewelry in the future. 

“I advertise on my own personal Instagram,” Gonzalez said. “I have a highlight reel where they can see the costs and DM me about it.” 

Though she only recently started making jewelry, Gonzalez has always been the artistic type. She grew up drawing and painting to express herself. Grateful that her customers appreciate her personal, creative style, Gonzalez wants to make sure they get the best products she can create. She is currently in the process of improving her designs to make her necklaces more secure and long-lasting.

“I’ve been wanting to use a clasp instead of an elastic string,” Gonzales said. “I feel like it is a little bit harder, and it takes more time and money and just more detail and attention to making it.” 

If you are interested in purchasing jewelry from Gonzalez, visit @ashtonggonzalez on Instagram and message her for more information.