Hard work pays off for go-getter with tourism partnership
WHEN the NewsMail first reported on Maddison Devine's new business Jellybean Jane, she thought her handmade earrings would serve as a creative outlet and fun hobby.
But since these humble beginnings at the start of this year, life for the 19-year-old has changed in the best possible way.
"I can't believe how much has happened since we last spoke," Ms Devine said.
"I'm still working as an assistant youth co-ordinator at the Catholic Parish of Bundaberg and teaching dance at the Bundaberg Dance Academy, but I had to quit my job at Officeworks because Jellybean Jane has become a full-time career."
Since opening her start-up which sells a variety of unique and vibrant oven-baked polymer clay earrings, Ms Devine has gained a large following, released three additional collections and formed an exciting partnership with Bundaberg Tourism.
"Bundy Tourism contacted me about two months ago and said they were interested in stocking some of my designs," Ms Devine said.
"So we had a meeting and together came up with a concept to create a collection that really showcased the ocean and the fact that we are the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
"I designed the pieces so that all of the coral, fish and even the markings on the turtles are all very similar to our local sea life and the colours of the coral are very similar to what you'd see if you went diving in the reef off Bundaberg."
Visitor Services and Sales Manager for Bundaberg Tourism Chantele Nelson said it was an exciting collaboration that aims to connect others with the region.
"Our Visitor Information Centres have reinvigorated our retail spaces, with greater focus on showcasing local products and produce, to our visitors (in the) region," Ms Nelson said.
"Bundaberg is known to be the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and with Maddison's amazing creative flair she created the 'Great Barrier Reef' Collection, which is exclusively stocked at our Visitor Information Centres."
The Great Barrier Reef collection features a selection of bright statement pieces in the form of studs or large dangles.
And it would be an understatement to say the brand new collection has already proven to be very popular.
Selling just under half the pairs on the first day that the collection was launched at Bundaberg Tourism, an additional order of 200 sets was placed within the time frame of just three weeks.
"I definitely didn't anticipate this, but it is such an incredible opportunity that has opened up so many doors for me and I'm just so grateful to be able to create something so beautiful," Ms Devine said.
"This is really teaching me how to manage growing the business but also allowing myself to breathe by taking advantage of peak times.
"My family didn't see for about eight days in the lead up to that first collection, but that's why I love working for myself because I work really, really hard and then take a bit of time off."
The young and driven designer said in some ways reality still hasn't hit about how far she has come since starting the business and often has to pinch herself when she walks past a stranger on the street that is wearing her stunning earrings.
While the 19-year-old is taking a short, well-deserved break, it won't last long with plenty of exciting projects in the works.
"I've already started working on the next collection with Bundaberg Tourism and that will be a culinary collection, focusing on the Bundaberg Taste Festival," Ms Devine said.
"It will feature local produce and farmers in the area and it's amazing to connect with local businesses in our amazing town."
Ms Devine will also be releasing her Goddess collection on the Jellybean Jane website; a neutral collection with a twist that breaks the mould on current trends.
Featuring elegant statement pieces suited to evening events, the creative entrepreneur hopes the pieces will empower women by embracing their strength, independence and encouraging them to "take up space, even with their earrings."
Collections are available online or in-store from The Wax Pot Boutique on Woongarra St and at the Bundaberg Tourism Information Centres.
For more information, visit jellybeanjaneco.com