17-year-old Oxford native, Sara Caroline Bridgers has a jewelry line, Jewels by Sarcar, that is now represented in almost all 50 states.
Last week she added West Virginia to the growing list of places where her jewelry is worn or sold. In January 2016, she received her license for her LLC, and she receives new orders every day.
Bridgers, who started Jewels by Sarcar in 2015 when she was 16 years old, has always loved entrepreneurship.
“It was all an accident, and I’m glad it happened,” she said of starting her company.
The challenge for Bridgers is balancing her scholarship with her entrepreneurship. As a rising Oxford High School senior, she said that balance is the key to her success.
“It’s stressful, but it’s very rewarding,” she said. “One minute, I’m with my financial advisor talking about tax ID numbers, and then I’m at ACT tutoring.”
At the same time, Bridgers has gained skills from owning a business that she would not have learned in school.
“I’ve had a lot of hardships learning the things I had never learned in high school like how to file taxes and how to do sales tax. So it’s been rewarding,” she said.
One challenge she has faced is dealing with storeowners who are interested in her products but are turned off by her age.
“It’s kind of stressful that people find out I’m so young and they sometimes don’t want to work with me,” she said. “I just say it’s their loss.”
Bridgers’s youth actually works in her favor when it comes to another element of business: marketing. She markets herself through Instagram, and she also has brand ambassadors: other young women who share her unique style. Her jewelry designs, all of which feature a druzy stone on a long suede cord, are crafted with versatility in mind and work for all ages but have gained particular traction with the high school and college-age demographic.
Cathy Joyner, owner of Bliss store in Jackson, Mississippi says that Jewels by Sarcar have been very popular at her shop. Joyner says she brought the line to Bliss initially to appeal to the teenage crowd but found that the line has been embraced by shoppers of all ages. Joyner personally owns a necklace with a white stone and says she receives compliments regularly, particularly from jewelry representatives in Dallas and Atlanta, who ask Joyner where they can get a piece for themselves.
“That’s the ultimate compliment when the competition wants one of their own,” Joyner says.
Bridgers says her desire is for her customers to feel like they spent their money on something they love.
“It makes me happy to know people want to spend money on something I made,” Bridgers said.
Savannah Brantley is a journalism major enrolled at Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.