Braiding for a cause: Young jewelry designers donate proceeds to charity

A part-time hobby has now become a part-time job, and all for a good cause.

Two girls in Lamar County, Serenity Payne and Kayleaonna Jones, have turned their hobby of friendship bracelets into a donation source for the Lamar County Human Resources Council.

“I was just wanting to give back to the community that’s giving back to us,” Serenity, 11, said. “I really like to make jewelry, and so does Kayleaonna.”

The pair started selling their jewelry through Facebook in October, and raised $104 for their first fundraiser, they said. Because of this success, they decided to push it even further, setting up a Facebook group called Bracelet Designs. Half of all the proceeds from the jewelry sales will go to the Human Resources Council.

“I felt good about doing it,” Serenity said. “We have five orders right now.”

“I felt the same way,” Kayleaonna said, “and a lot of people don’t have a lot.”

The girls chose the council because they now sponsor the homeless shelter.

“I know that can be hard,” Serenity said.

“We decided that would be best,” Kayleaonna said. “They said they had eight kids and six families.”

The council featured the girls on their Facebook page.

“These amazing group of friends decided they would start making jewelry as a hobby, and really enjoyed it,” the post reads. “So, they decided to try to sell a few. Business picked up quickly, and they sold out! These young entrepreneurs are not only ambitious, but have a big heart. They have decided to donate their earnings to Horizon House. The girls all attend Chisum ISD. I know their parents, school district, and our community are so proud of these ladies.”

The girls originally sold bracelets, earrings, scrunchies and bracelet-making kits. They plan on dropping the earrings for now, but will add braided rings in the future. They each specialize in different designs.

“Kayleaonna does the braided ones,” Serenity said. “I do beads mostly.”

The whole business is a family affair, with the girls’ moms, Heather Wicks and Felicia Jones, handling the Facebook page and purchasing materials, and even siblings are going to get into the game.

“My sister makes a lot of intense bracelets,” Serenity said, “like with a chevron pattern and stuff.”

Some of their classmates are also talking about getting involved, Serenity said.

The girls’ Facebook page can be found at Bracelets are going for $3 each, and the price of kits can vary depending on how much is added to the kit. Besides selling pre-made bracelets, they also are taking commissions.

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