PRAIRIE GROVE -- Two young entrepreneurs from Prairie Grove are moving their vendor booth from the local farmers market on Saturdays to offer their handmade jewelry at the Clothesline Fair this weekend.
Sydney Ruland and Autumn Benedict are Prairie Grove graduates and seniors at the University of Arkansas. Ruland is majoring in interior design and Benedict is working toward a triple major in psychology, sociology and criminology. She's interested in working with law enforcement agencies as a profiler.
Their business, called Ivy Clay Designs, started as a personal project for Ruland. She purchased the start-up materials to see if she would like making clay earrings for herself. Benedict asked if she would like some help, and they decided to form a partnership about 1 ½ years ago.
Now, their products include clay earrings, metal earrings and ring dishes and acrylic products.
In making clay earrings, Ruland said the two purchase the polymer clay, mix their own colors and then roll out the clay before creating different shaped earrings. The earrings are baked, finished with a glaze and then placed on cards to purchase. Their apartment serves as their production site.
"It's honestly calming," Ruland said. "It's really fun to do."
Benedict added, "It's nice to des-tress."
Benedict said the items are fairly inexpensive to make but are expensive to buy in most stores.
"We're selling them for more decent prices than other places," Benedict said.
Their parents help on Saturdays when their daughters have to work at their regular-paying jobs. Ruland works for Magnolia Coffee and Bakery, and Benedict works at Gusanos, a pizza restaurant in Fayetteville.
Proceeds from the booth are providing extra, spending money. Ruland is saving her money for a study abroad program in interior design in Rome.
Most of their sales have been at the farmers market, but Ivy Clay Designs also has an Etsy site and an Instagram account.