9 min 36 sec

Bookstore Employee Crafts Paper Bead Jewelry

When an art student and bookstore employee looks for ways to supplement her income, she invents a new art form making paper beads from popular books.
Arts & Crafts Book Jewelry Product

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What It's About

A book lover turns a page creating jewelry from paper.

Words of Wisdom

Cara has some great advice regarding being observant. “Always be open to learning and adapting. I have ALWAYS loved attending craft sales, but when I decided I wanted to take Book’d to craft sales I started attending them with a different eye. I looked at what other sellers were doing—what worked, and what didn’t. ”

Fun Fact

The art of paper bead jewelry began in mid 1800’s England during the Victorian Age. Women of the time would get together and spend time crafting beads from scraps of elaborate old wallpaper.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1417

While studying art in college, Cara Ginter worked part-time in a bookstore. After graduation, she found very few jobs for someone with her background. So, she continued at the bookstore and hoped to find another part-time job to boost her income.

One day, Cara was put in charge of a kids’ story and craft workshop at the store. She had to come up with some activities for the kids, and she’d recently read about paper beads. You make them by taking strips of paper, rolling them tight, and sealing them shut to resemble jewelry beads. It seemed like the perfect way to combine books and craft.

She loved creating things, and she loved books. Paper bead jewelry could be the ideal combination of two of her passions. For the next few weeks she honed the craft, eventually landing on a style she liked. She used the beads to make a few bracelets and posted them to her personal Facebook page.

With supplies and eagerness it was time for her side hustle to unfold. In mid-2016 Cara launched an Etsy store and called it Book’d Creations.

Sales increased, and Book’d was slowly becoming the side hustle of Cara’s reams.

During that time, she also branched out and attended local craft fairs. It was there, in person, that she really improved her skill of storytelling. When passers by were checking out her jewelry, Cara was sure to inform them of her path to creating Book’d. The story tied a unique narrative to her products, made them stand out from other items on sale and helped her sell more, sometimes up to two thousand dollars worth per fair. She took these selling lessons online as she began to build her online store.

Over the following year she encouraged her repeat customers to buy directly from the store. Etsy fees had gone up but, more notably, COVID-19 has put all craft fairs on hold. These were a large source of income so it’s more important than ever that Cara build her own, independent, online brand.

Book’d is still making hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars per month. To keep that momentum going, she’s creating more book-related products, like button badges, earrings, and keychains.

It’s just the beginning of Cara’s paper bead story. She’s already on a tear!




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Quote of the Day
"Always be open to learning and adapting."
—Cara Ginter #SideHustleSchool

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