Making an Impact through Jewelry Making


 By opening up her own jewelry business, Diamond Bar High School senior Keili Ishitani accomplished two things at once: raising money for worldwide charities and combating the negative effects of fast fashion.

Ishitani started her business in late August, selling hand-crafted earrings on her Instagram account @madebykeili. One dollar of every purchase will go toward charities, which range from animal to human crises. She offers three charity options that a customer can choose from on her website that she plans to switch out every other month in order to help as many causes as possible. 

Currently, she has charities listed to help Lebanon and organizations such as Canine Angels and St. Jude Children’s Research hospital. Her prices range from $10 to $25.

“I initially started making jewelry for myself since finding affordable jewelry was difficult,” Ishitani said via Instagram. “However, during quarantine with all the things happening in the world, I decided that I could help someone by selling some of my jewelry.”

Ishitani also places an emphasis on sustainability when creating her products. She said she focuses on the trustworthiness and reliability of each store she considers buying materials from to ensure each piece she creates will last a long time. Also sourcing materials from various small businesses on Etsy, she makes sure the shops she buys from use ethical practices to create their products. 

She said she either buys plated gold, gold-filled or silver to make her jewelry since they are known for their durability. She also purchases items such as charms, hooks, jump rings and clasps that are essential in creating each product. 

Although it may sound extremely time consuming to make good-quality pieces, Ishitani said it usually takes her 15 minutes or less to create each of her products. 

“Depending on the complexity of the piece, some [items] take longer than others,” Ishitani said. “Earrings are the simplest to make, while earrings and bracelets are more time consuming.”

In order to test her products, she and her family wear her jewelry for an extended period of time to ensure the quality of the material won’t have any negative effects on potential customers. As her business continues to grow, she hopes to put as many designs as possible on her website.

 She only plans on selling earrings on her website until her business starts to build traction; she will eventually put her bracelets and necklaces up for sale.