Growing a Business, and Myself


A few of Calvagna’s many jewelry pieces (Courtesy of Calvagna Jewelry)

Benjamin Arnoldussen

During quarantine, which was a drastic change for all of us, I would find myself bored, and with nothing really to do, or no money to have. Also at the time, I wasn’t really working, except doing odd jobs for my parents, or taking care of my neighbor’s lawns, or shoveling snow. With all of this free time, I would spend a lot of it on my phone, and that’s where I found it. Kids my age were starting to make their own businesses, and not just lemonade stands on the side of the street, but real businesses, ones with profit and taxes. The idea stayed with me for a couple weeks and I decided I would give it a shot. First, I had to pick something I was really passionate about, which came kinda hard, because what did I love that I could turn into a revenue and sell on the market? Jewelry. Crazy, but I hadn’t really been into or wore much jewelry until I started making it. I always liked good jewelry that was still affordable, and being a teenager who can’t afford hundred dollar necklaces or rings, I decided to start making my own. 

Things started out small, I went on Amazon and did some research, bought some supplies and that was it. I started out with custom name necklaces, where I would take wire and bend it into the letters and sort of cursive someone’s name out as a pendant. This worked for a while, but then I started to have problems. My jewelry was very cheap at the time, so it rusted easily and couldn’t really be worn in water. Now that I’ve been in the game for about a year and a half, my jewelry has gotten much better, reaching to the point where I have 14k gold-filled and sterling silver pieces. However, my journey wasn’t easy, despite all of the claims to fame I saw on social media and from other people. Bottom line, I learned that you have to put the work in. There is always going to be someone else who wants it more than you, and you have to beat them. I learned valuable lessons of overcoming challenges, (like taxes, which truly are the worst) and even failure, when I couldn’t find people to buy what I was selling, or support me at all in the process. Supporting myself was the biggest thing I learned, and if you can do that, you can get others to support you too. As of today, I have hundreds of customers that love my jewelry, and my style.I took my grandma’s family name, Calvagna (Cal-von-ya) and made a logo, a website and some custom stickers for it too. I love being unique and creating wearable art that comes from intention and creativity. To anybody who is out there thinking of starting a business, or wanting to just make something new of themselves, do it. You won’t regret it.

Business Instagram: @calvagnajewelry