EARRING EMPIRE: 12-year-old Pearl Jenkins makes earrings under the name 'A Touch of Candy Oak', honouring her beloved mare, Candy Oak, who passed away last year.
EARRING EMPIRE: 12-year-old Pearl Jenkins makes earrings under the name 'A Touch of Candy Oak', honouring her beloved mare, Candy Oak, who passed away last year. Alex Treacy

Plucky girl from Eidsvold crafting a business empire

PEARL Jenkins and Candy Oak, a quarter horse with a shiny brown coat and white blaze on its face, were best friends.

They had been together since Pearl was five and shared a bond that can only be formed between those who have grown up together and been there for each other through thick and thin.

"She was really fast,” Pearl said.

And stylish, too - Candy Oak was a past winner of the best-dressed award at the annual Mundubbera Pet Show, and Pearl, a talented young barrel racer from Eidsvold, also won her first campdraft on Candy Oak.

"She could be mean,” Pearl admitted.

"But nice, too.

"She liked me but not other horses.”

12-year-old Eidsvold student on her beloved mare Candy Oak, who passed away in June 2018.
12-year-old Eidsvold student on her beloved mare Candy Oak, who passed away in June 2018. Contributed

But in June 2018, around the time of Pearl's 11th birthday, Candy Oak fell ill.

The veterinarian delivered the family shattering news: she had a twisted spleen, which she wouldn't survive.

Pearl was devastated - she'd lost her best friend.

However, when the first anniversary of Candy Oak's passing came around in June this year, Pearl was determined to honour her partner in crime.

So she started her own accessory label, A Touch of Candy Oak, making bespoke earrings, scarves and hair ties.

With the help of her mum Molly, Pearl orders crafts supplies and sets out making her creations.

"Pearl tells me what she wants and we hop online and look for the best deals,” Molly said.

Pearl uses mock gemstones, buttons, tassels, cane and paint among other materials for her earrings.

"She's always been into painting and arts and crafts,” Molly said.

Pearl can spend all afternoon putting the pieces together.

"I do a few sets at a time. I can get through them quickly if they're all the same,” she said.

"I line them up in a row to glue them.”

Molly said she couldn't be prouder of her daughter.

"She's having a go,” she said.

"It's the only way to get ahead.”

Pearl's earrings are already spread far and wide across the North Burnett: they're stocked at Just Teasin Salon in Monto, Eidsvold Rural property agents and Burns Drapery in Mundubbera.

They're also a favourite among Pearl's teachers at Eidsvold State School, many of whom now rock the Touch of Candy Oak look.

Pearl has started her own Facebook page and is on the hunt for market opportunities to grow her budding business.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a pair, look closely at the cardboard card the earrings are pinned to.

You'll see a photo of young girl with a smile from ear to ear, perched atop a quarter horse with a shiny brown coat and with a white blaze on its face.

Pearl has not forgotten her best friend.



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