Brandeis student sells handmade earrings for charity

Resin crafts have been a hit throughout the entire quarantine period. Many have taken to making cups, coasters and jewelry as a way to fill time or to make some extra money. Krupa Sourirajan ’23 has created her business using a slightly different idea. This summer, she has been selling resin earrings and donating the profits to various charities. 

Sourirajan made the Instagram account on May 31, posting her first earrings a week after that. She told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview that all the proceeds brought in from earring sales in June were donated to charities. “Contributing to various funds and donating isn’t easy… but doing something a little creative where people can … feel that they’re getting a product back, and that their money is still going to a good place makes me really happy and makes the people buying them happy.” She was able to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She is currently deciding where to donate in August. These donations were matched by organizations that match donations as well as a friend of a friend, according to Sourirajan. 

In July, Sourirajan decided to include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the charities she’s donating to. “I decided that I would rotate the organizations … every month to keep with the people who constantly need it.” She always wanted to donate to St. Jude’s, she said, but decided to first give to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She later said that “as my earring orders came in, I listened to some of what my followers had to say on what organizations to donate to, and that was really useful.” With Sourirajan’s business expanding and requiring her to purchase more supplies in order to continue producing, she decided to donate only the profits she makes off of sales. Originally, Sourirajan made around a thousand dollars; however, after her donations were matched by others, the total donations that came from her earrings totalled over five thousand dollars. 

Sourirajan started making her crafts without much of a guide; she just ordered the supplies off of Amazon, picked wild flowers growing in her neighborhood and learnt through trial and error. When asked whether she was going to expand into other types of crafts, Sourirajan told The Hoot that when she was just starting her business, she was looking at resin mugs but she was worried about the possibility of resin residue left inside them, while coasters, which are the most popular resin craft, are already sold in abundance. Sourirajan started making bracelets and rings, but ran into issues with sizing and making generic jewelry. “The market didn’t seem to be there,” added Sourirajan, so she is most likely sticking to making earrings in the future.  

Currently Sourirajan makes over 50 styles of earrings, in various colors, all of which can be customized. Shapes include glittery stars and moons, which are Sourirajan’s favorites, as well as rectangles, circles and square hoops all full of pressed flowers. The newest additions have been hoops with the original resin shapes on them. 

When asked whether she was expecting to gain so much popularity, Sourirajan told The Hoot that she “was really surprised because I did not expect people to buy handmade earrings … Once I figured out the right marketing strategy … it kinda started to settle in like, oh, this is actually a thing.” Advertising for the earrings was done entirely through word-of-mouth, with most of it being from Sourirajan’s friends. As of August 8, she has had over 250 orders, as well as a few rings and bracelets. She has sold across the United States, but mentioned interest from a potential customer in England. 

Sourirajan will not be continuing making earrings during the school year, however she will be bringing earrings that have not been sold to Brandeis, which will be available to purchase. Additionally, Sourirajan will continue making custom earrings when she goes back for breaks. She mentioned that making resin crafts is a really fun hobby, one that she could see herself “doing for a long time on the side … or teaching it to people because it is so fun.” 

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