Campus Celebrity: Marley Lazarus

While the average UW Madison student may be listening to music while studying, or reading a quick book before bed, Marley Lazarus spends that time doing what she does best: making jewelry. Marley has been playing around with strings and beads her whole life. It wasn’t up until around six years ago that she decided to take both her passion and extreme talent to another level. She is now the proud founder of Beaded By Marley, her very own line of personally designed jewelry. She maintains her own website, which features her many different creations, as well as an account on Instagram that is regularly updated with the latest pieces.

Name: Marley Lazarus

Year: Sophomore

Major: Retail

Hometown: South Orange, New Jersey

Involvement on Campus: Apparel Chair for Alpha Epsilon Phi, Brand Ambassador for Twigs – high-end clothing, shoe, and accessory store

When did you discover your passion for making jewelry, and where do you think this passion came from?

When I was a freshman in high school, I learned how to make beaded bracelets on a loom and I continued to do it all throughout the summer. Because of this, my mom made me take up a job in a bead store. I think my passion came from the fact that I’ve always liked crafting, and also because the person whom I worked for taught me new techniques on how to bead as well as how to work in a retail store.

When and why did you decide to make the transformation of having beading merely serve the purpose of a favorite hobby, to using beading to create your own business?

I decided to make the change to business when I was a senior and people started getting into college. I would make loom bracelets with the names of colleges on them and then sell them to people. This then extended to summer camp names on the bracelets, and really anything else people wanted to have on a bracelet. A short time after that, I switched to buying semi precious beads and making necklaces and bracelets. It was my mom’s idea for me to start selling my designs, because I ended up making so many and not having time to wear most of them. My friends always borrowed the jewelry, so she figured that people would want to buy them so they can have their own. I started off by selling to my parent’s friends and my own close friends, and eventually decided to make an Instagram account in order to sell to everyone else from there.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

I get inspiration by looking online at different websites and seeing the latest charms/chains/beads available. I also spend a lot of my time looking at Instagram, following both the accounts of many fashion bloggers and my favorite jewelry designers. Sometimes there is no inspiration, and I just play around by putting different things together and waiting to see what it ends up looking like when I’m finished.

Do you feel that your jewelry had mad immense progress since the very beginning, both in its designs and in gaining popularity?  If so, how did you achieve this?

I do. I think that the popularity aspect is due to meeting new people at college and having them show both their friends and family. Also, by having my friends from back home continue to show their families as well as pass along to new friends. I have made progress with my designs since the beginning, by learning new techniques and adapting my creations in order to meet the latest trend of what people want. I think my popularity has grown by recently creating a website which has brought along many more followers from all over.

What does Beaded by Marley’s future look like? Is the retail major at UW Madison preparing your company to further expand and grow in the future?

I am going to continue to make jewelry and sell it, hopefully to a larger audience. Right now, I am taking a class on entrepreneurship that is teaching more about the business side of starting a company. Next semester, I am taking classes about consumer behavior and happiness, and hopefully the information taught to me there will be valuable in helping me to expand and keep Beaded by Marley going. I am also currently applying for internships for jewelers in NYC. I am hoping to learn a lot from this experience, and to see how these companies were able to become so well known and successful.