Hi everyone! My name is Lauren Hollis and I am the creator of Pineappleloop!
Ever since I was a young girl, I always had a curiosity for the process of making products and finding customers to sell to. The earliest memory I have of this was when I was little, I made book marks out of strips of paper and walked around my neighborhood selling them for a dollar. Then it went on to lemonade stands and bake sales. Eventually, around the age of 10, I started playing around with beads and soon fell in love.
In grade school, I would go around to students in my class and have them explain to me what type of earring they would want, colors and size, and for only a $5 fee I would design their customized pieces that night and make the exchange at school the next day. I had a mini business running in the halls. When I got to middle school, I duct taped an earring display to the inside of my locker as a mini "show room" for my "clients". Soon after I was approached by the principle saying that although she was impressed, it was not allowed in a school, right after she bought a pair from me.
At the age of 12, I discovered that our home town was holding an Arts Festival. I was mesmerized by the idea of being able to participate in something like this. I wanted more than anything to have my very own booth alongside other artists to be able to sell my work and talk to customers. I am a firm believer a personal connection with a customer can take you a long way, that is why I wanted to be the one standing there, selling my own jewelry. With help from my dad, I went and applied for a vendors license and gave up $50 for my participation fee and I was finally in. I displayed my jewelry at our local festival for 3 consecutive years, and it has still been one of the most uplifting experiences of my life.
When quarantine hit and paused everyones life, it kickstarted mine. I was going crazy being at home, not being able to work or leave my house. I got to thinking and asked myself "what is something that you know you have always wanted to do that you have put off in the past?" Knowing that if there was anytime to start a new chapter, it would be now. That is when I was able to simply answer " I want to run my own jewelry company." So I did.
I already knew how to create my pieces, but I did not know how to scale my bedroom business. I worked through quarantine teaching myself how to start a website, build influencer connections, run Facebook ads, and how to get consumers to really grasp an idea. I was able and am still learning things that have been extremely beneficial to my life and my future. If anything, the best result I could get from this experience is the experience itself. My whole life I have had all the tools I needed to start this company. I had the drive, I had the passion, I had the love of interacting with others and making jewelry. Quarantine had finally given me the one thing that I was missing, time.
I currently am a Senior at Kent State University, studying entrepreneurship with a minor in Marketing. Since starting my business in 2020, I have shipped out over 4,000 products to 18+ countries! It has been a dream come true. My biggest accomplishment to date was coming in first place at my colleges business bitch competition, awarding my company $10,000.