Creativity runs in the family of ASU student Emily Reissen, who has teamed up with her mother to turn their hobbies into a creative business.
Reissen, a junior majoring in psychology and sociology, and her mother Melody Reissen started their Phoenix-based business GenerationsXTwo in October 2018, and are now coming up with new products to be sold through their website.
They currently sell jewelry items such as bracelets and necklaces, most of which feature items crafted by Melody, including wrapped crystals and a polished gemstone called glass cabochon.
Besides jewelry, the duo has also recently added a variety of other handmade products to their catalog, such as paintings, coasters and woven mats.
The completely online-based business comes at a time when online retail is popular among consumers.
Naomi Ellis, a faculty associate for fashion design at ASU's School of Art, said that smaller businesses like GenerationsXTwo have a unique opportunity online.
Ellis said that the convenience and the ability to compare products online is something that can appeal to online shoppers, especially when it comes to fashion products like the jewelry sold by GenerationsXTwo.
Ellis said that another benefit of the online model is "they don't have the overhead for starting a business."
"If they can reach their customers, they have a lot of potential," she said, adding that there are a lot of companies that start off small online and then grow to be much larger businesses.
The Reissens are reaching their customers primarily through social media, with GenerationsXTwo accounts on both Twitter and Instagram.
They also have a Wix website, which is where the products can be purchased.
Melody said that while the business is still developing, they hope that it will kick off and that they will be able to start selling their products at vendor shows as well.
Some of Emily's recent creations are her galaxy-designed pots, which she paints herself.
"They're very unique because they're hand-painted and they reflect something that I've loved my whole life," she said. "Each product is completely different from the last."
Melody, who is now retired, majored in art when she was in Glendale Community College. She said that her love of creating things is what inspires her craft.
"I started sewing when I was ten and my grandma taught me," she said. "I've just always had to be making something."
Melody said that while she and Emily each work individually on their different types of projects, they give each other feedback on their work and come together to discuss new ideas for products that appeal to a wide age range.
Emily's advice for anyone who has a desire to start a business like GenerationsXTwo is to "do what you love and just go for it."
She said that balancing her school commitments and GenerationsXTwo is not always an easy task. Nevertheless, she said it is worth it and that the time spent creating new products is a nice way for her to relax.
"If you keep putting it off because you feel like you're not ready, you'll never get to the point of being ready," she said. "It's a process that you have to keep working at. It's not an overnight thing."
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