Sophia and Juliana, or Soph and Julz, are the creators of the handmade jewelry business, Piezas Unicas. Together they have created a sustainable jewelry brand that is adored among many SLO residents. Soph (they/them/theirs) has taken their passion for the environment and the arts to make beautiful pieces like rings, necklaces and wrapped stones all through recycled metals. Many of Soph’s pieces are made with soldering and wire wrapping. Julz (she/her/hers) also makes one of a kind pieces like keychains, earrings and ashtrays. Many of Julz’s creations are made with resin molds. Family, culture and sustainability are at the very heart of Piezas Unicas. In the past year, this small business has grown immensely, and the duo even host many craft fair events where community members can come and purchase pieces, as well as meet the creators behind it all.
Miki is the creator behind this handmade necklace small business. Micki runs the businnses through the instagram account @mikisboredcraftslol, which was started in April of this year. The necklaces are customized based on specific requests for each customer, but they are mainly designed with the customer’s name along with fun and colorful beading. Customers can request personalized necklaces on a google form which Miki will post on Instagram when new orders open up. These necklaces are super trendy and unique because of their personalization.
Her Fruit is a clothing brand created by Her Campus’ very own, Malia. The brand is sustainable and uses vintage fabrics and materials to make the cutest and trendiest clothing pieces. Some of the pieces include matching sets, corsets, beaded bags, dresses and more. Malia started the small business in 2020 after returning from Italy, inspired by the fashion there. Her Fruit’s goal is to create a sustainable fashion world that also keeps up with the latest trends and styles.
Mariah is the creator behind this small business which includes abstract canvas paintings and resin mold creations. Mariah makes her own creations, and takes custom orders as well. The resin mold creations include ashtrays, goddess statues, earrings and hair clips. Mariah also sells canvas paintings, which are each unique, and is also a frequent vendor at SLO community craft fairs. Besides craft fairs, you can check out and purchase pieces on Instagram, where Mariah also does fun giveaways.
Skye is the creator behind the handmade swimsuit brand SKYmerRAY. Skye’s inspiration for this small business comes from the saying “where one’s trash is another’s treasure,” along with her love for design and creativity. Skye started reforming clothes at a young age after learning how to sew, and from there her passion for this hobby grew into so much more; now Skye runs SKYmerRAY swimsuit brand. Skye uses 100% recycled materials to make each handmade swimsuit. She hopes that her love for design and the planet shine through all her pieces.
Supporting local small businesses is a great way to contribute to a more sustainable world as well as supporting your community. These five student-run businesses are just a few of all the amazing small businesses in SLO, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.