Evangeline Chen adds sparkle to high school halls

It’s easy to find a variety of earrings dangling from the ears of Ames High girls. They are from a wide array of stores, like Claire’s, American Eagle, Express. If you look more closely, though, every now and then you’re bound to spot a pair that you haven’t seen anywhere else. That’s because these unique pairs aren’t from a mall, they’re from Ames High junior Evangeline Chen. The WEB: Are you in a lot of art classes? Chen: Not this semester, but I’ve taken 2D art, 3D art, and drawing. I was going to take jewelry this year, but I’m really busy with AP Physics. W: What made you start making earrings? C: My mom bought the hooks to make earrings, and I’ve always collected beads. Plus, when I was in elementary school, I didn’t have pierced ears, so I had to make the fake clip-on kind. W: What do you get out of making earrings? C: Making earrings is fun, and it’s one of those things where you get to express your creativity. W: How do you make most of the earrings? C: I pick out all of my beads and then connect all of them with wires in the design I want and put them on little rings. After the entire design is together I just put them on the hook or clip. W: What was the first pair you made? C: It had two big white beads that hung down and a little piece of wire laid on top that I bent into the shape of a butterfly. W: What made you want to sell your earrings? C: I actually started to make them just to give them out as gifts, but in art class last year some of my friends suggested I should sell them. They were some of my first customers, too. W: When did you really start getting into designing them? C: Last year, but this year, I’ve made a lot of new designs and really used my design book. One of my friends said she might make me business cards or something, too, to show more people my designs. W: Where do you get the ideas for your designs? C: I get my ideas from everything. I walk into stores and look at what they have, but a lot of times I just get the most ideas from the beads. They have good beads at Hobby Lobby and at Grandma’s Attic; I get a lot of mine from Taiwan, too. My mom will bring a lot to me and I just go from there! W: What advice would you give to people who want to get started making their own jewelry? C: Mostly to just have fun, and to be careful with wire cutters! Go to stores and look at earrings you like, and make sure to choose simpler designs at first. W: How much do you sell your earrings for? C: I sell them for pretty cheap. I sold them for three or four dollars right when I started, but now they’re, like, eight to 12 dollars because my designs are getting more complicated. W: How can people see your designs and buy them? C: Usually it’s word of mouth, like my friends say ‘hey, so and so wants to buy your earrings.’ I have order forms, too, and I’ve got my sketchbook so people can just kind of come up to me in the halls!” Nothing like these dazzling designs can be found in stores, and what’s more impressive than something one of a kind? Original, creative, and colorful. Words that describe not only Evangeline’s sparkling creations, but also the designer herself.