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Check Out Shelby O’Banion’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelby O’Banion.

Hi Shelby, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hello! I am Shelby O’Banion, the owner of SO.Clay Earrings and I am excited to share my story with you all. It all started during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was trying to find something to do other than homework to keep me busy at home. I definitely wanted to try something crafty because I have always enjoyed doing crafts and being creative. I was on Pinterest one night searching for fun DIY’s I could do and that’s when I saw a DIY polymer clay jewelry holder. I was very intrigued and I really started to wonder what else I could do with clay. I thought about keychains, earrings, sculptures, etc. I knew that I had to try it out so I got online and I ordered a bunch of polymer clay, clay tools, and earring cutters. As soon as my package came in I sat at the kitchen table and I figured out how to pair the clay together and shape it into earrings. After that I was hooked. I would spend hours everyday messing around with the clay and seeing what color combos and earring designs I could come up with. When I started this journey it was close to Valentine’s Day so I decided to make myself a cute pink and red pair of earrings for the occasion. It was just for fun until I saw that people were actually interested in buying earrings from me. I started to contemplate the idea of putting my earrings out on social media. This was totally out of my comfort zone and I sat on this thought for a while until one day I remember thinking to myself “what’s the worst that could happen?” 

That is when I came up with the name SO.Clay (my initials) and I made an Instagram, Etsy and TikTok for my earrings. I gained a small following on instagram and within a few days I sold multiple pairs of my Valentine Day earrings. It was the most exciting feeling ever to send these earrings out knowing that someone wanted to wear my creation! I really started to dive into making earrings. I got a thrill out of the whole process; creating the earrings, taking pictures, making TikToks, packaging them, etc. Since February I have learned so much about the earring making process and I continue to develop and learn more every time that I create.

Fun fact: I now have women in 7 different states wearing my earrings! 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wish I could say that it has been a smooth road but I would be lying to you. I have struggled to be consistent when it comes to posting on my Instagram and TikTok. I have been juggling college along with SO.Clay and it has been difficult to manage. I am in the final stretch of classes for my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and these classes have really put me to the test. I am consumed by school and homework which leaves very little time for me to be creative and make more earrings.

It is really difficult when I am packaging an order because I want to just dive in and create more earrings but I know that I do not have the time to. That being said, I cannot wait to take advantage of all the free time that I have over my thanksgiving and winter break to make more earrings and be more interactive on my social media!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
All of the earrings that I make are created to be unique, lightweight, and durable. 

The quality of my earrings is what sets me apart from other earring creators. I take pride in making my earrings out of the best clay and materials that I can find and I will not send out a pair of earrings if I do not think they are absolutely perfect. If you order from me you can expect to receive free local delivery, little personalized notes/stickers in your package, and coupons for future purchases!

Who else deserves credit in your story?
My family plays a huge role as my support system. They are more than happy to wear my earrings around to show their support. They encourage me to keep going and they also help me by giving me cool ideas. I really appreciate their opinions and their support does not go unnoticed!

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1 Comment

  1. Tristan Baird

    November 2, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    What a great story! It is really encouraging to see female entrepreneurs making an effort to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. I think that it is a great idea to include stickers or a note with each purchase, that will personalize the transaction and make it memorable for the sake of repeat business. It’s seems that Shelby has realized that a successful entrepreneur will find a way set their business aprat from others that may be competing in the same market. Keep up the great work Shelby! I hope that there is a follow-up story on your progress.

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