When Samantha Zander of Manawa was a sophomore in high school she began dabbling with making homemade jewelry.
“That’s when I figured that I liked it,” Zander said. “Then my senior year, that’s all that I did was make jewelry.”
Zander said she has been making homemade jewelry since the summer of 2010, but she described it as a hobby. That changed last year in December when her passion for making homemade jewelry inspired her to start her own business – Simply Inspired.
The business is located at 407 Bridge Street in Manawa and was open for business in December 2012. Zander admitted that opening the business was a “spur of the moment” decision.
“I think it was a week before I opened my store that I decided I wanted to do this,” Zander said.
She said she started thinking about opening her own store a month prior.
“I decided in November that I wanted a place for my jewelry,” Zander said. “I decided to not only have jewelry, but I decided to also have just homemade stuff. It just kind of happened.”
Zander said lotions, scarves, blankets, candles, gels, scents and soap are also sold there. All these items are homemade, either by Zander or somebody locally. Zander said the majority of the items are made by her.
Zander described sales prior to Christmas as “very good.” She admitted things slowed down in January but are starting to pick up again. During the summer she also plans on attending craft fairs to sell her products.
In the spring she said she plans on adding summer tote bags and beach towels. Her ultimate goal is to continually add items to her inventory, and to expand into the backroom at the store’s location.
“I want to be a household name,” Zander said.