What began as a relaxing pastime for junior Taylor Block has now blossomed into a successful self-managed business: Salt and Soul Jewelry.

When Block began making jewelry, she only made it for herself. Until the frequent compliments she received helped her decide to take the leap and turn her hobby into a business.

Now, Block sells a range of stylish jewelry, from intricately beaded chokers to long necklaces adorned with marble beads or other charms. She sells these eye-grabbing and professional-looking pieces for between $20 and $50.

Block has always been interested in fashion and has experience in retail. She has worked in a jewelry store near her home in Boston, as well as in a boutique in Nantucket during the summer. Her first customers were her friends, but as orders from her Etsy store piled up, Block decided she needed to expand outside of her dorm room.

She registered Salt and Soul with the government, which provided her with a resale identification number. With this license, Block is able to host trunk shows and pop-up shops, two of which have been held in the Tyler Haynes Commons this past school year.

With the growth and increasing success of Salt and Soul, Block has recently procured a profit.

Having put only her own money into the business, this success is extremely rewarding for Block, and it has prompted her to begin considering the future of her business and the possibility of opening her own retail store someday.

“I’ve grown so significantly in the past year that I think [opening up a shop] is definitely an option for me,” Block said. “I think that it would be an incredible experience, but I’ll definitely have to do a little more work to get to that point.”

Being a student and a business owner brings challenges, especially when it comes to time management, Block said. On average, it takes thirty minutes to an hour to finish a piece of jewelry, and during busy seasons such as the holidays, Block has found herself extremely backed up.

“I do the finance, I do the marketing and I make everything," Block said. "So it’s definitely a lot with school work."

However, the entrepreneur's favorite part of her business is the involvement in the community that Salt and Soul gives her. She said that people are often curious and enjoy chatting about it, and that those connections have been just as rewarding — if not more — as the financial success of the business.

You can browse and shop Salt and Soul here:

https://www.facebook.com/saltandsouljewelry/

https://www.instagram.com/saltandsouljewelry/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/saltandsouljewelry

Contact features writer Lucy Nalen at lucy.nalen@richmond.edu.