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Canfield girl makes, sells one-of-a-kind jewelry

Published: Thu, August 15, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.


Talia Vale Mollica, the 9-year-old daughter of Kristen and Dominic Mollica of Canfield, recently started her own business, Bling Dazzles, to sell the jewelry she designs. Each piece is unique, and comes with a name and a story that explains her inspiration. Talia has made about 300 one-of-a-kind pieces.




To 9-year-old Talia Vale Mollica, anything — from banana splits, to jellyfish, to summer lightning — can provide the inspiration necessary to create a one- of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

“I look around at different things, and I think about what I want to name the jewelry before I make it,” said Talia, a self-proclaimed jewelry artist.

“If I’m thinking about outside, I’ll make the jewelry look a little bit like it.”

Last year, with the goal of making each piece unique, Talia embarked on her first business venture, Bling Dazzles, with a little bit of help from her mother, Kristen Mollica.

But while Mollica provided about $50 worth of seed money for supplies and designed the Bling Dazzles website, everything else — like sticking to a budget when buying beads, or keeping track of exactly how many creations she’s sold — is entirely up to Talia.

This isn’t the first time Talia has taken an interest in jewelry, though.

She’s always adored craft kits, and as a 4-year-old, made a bracelet of multicolored wooden beads and yarn for her mother. Whenever Mollica wore it, she’d receive compliments on its design.

“Talia is always looking for something to do, and is always bored. One day, she said, I want to [make jewelry] for real,” Mollica said.

“She really wanted to do a business. It’s teaching her a lot about responsibility.”

So far, the fourth-grader at C.H. Campbell Elementary School has designed about 300 different pieces, including bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Each piece, which takes about an hour or two to construct, comes with a name and a story explaining Talia’s inspiration.

Since starting Bling Dazzles, Mollica said, Talia has received requests to duplicate her creations, but politely refuses.

Instead, she’ll make something that is similar — but not exactly the same.

“Nothing is replicated,” Mollica said. “No one else is ever going to have that same piece.”

Talia estimated that she has already sold about 150 pieces of jewelry, with 90 percent of the proceeds from each piece going directly into her college fund.

The remaining 10 percent is donated to one of several charities, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society, in the customer’s name.

Most sales have been through the Bling Dazzles’ website, www.blingdazzles.com, and at the Ursuline Center Car Trunk and Treasure Sale last month. The sale, Talia’s first, was a learning experience for her daughter, Mollica said.

First, Talia — who often designs her jewelry in “little creative bursts,” Mollica said — had to be dedicated and committed enough to create about 100 new pieces to bring to the show. She made 130.

In addition, Talia said she wasn’t very happy when she noticed that other vendors were selling jewelry at the show as well. It was an important lesson in competition, and one that inspired her to purchase more, and better displays for her jewelry almost immediately afterward, she said.

Karen Curtis, who volunteered at the sale, said she was most impressed that Talia had created each and every piece of jewelry herself, and also that a child would be so interested in wanting to start a business.

“She’s very sophisticated for 9,” Curtis said. “For that age, to be that intuitive, I think she has a bright future ahead of her.”

Talia’s aunt, Candace Wiskunas, agreed, adding that she’s one of Bling Dazzles’ best customers. Wiskunas likes that Talia puts a great deal of thought into each design.

“The pieces are special to her, and she can tell you about them all,” Wiskunas said. “She has that interest and motivation, and I’d love to see her continue.”

Mollica said she’s never pushed Talia to stick with her business, and has encouraged her to pursue it only as long as she wants. When she decides that she’s done with making jewelry, Mollica will simply take the remaining pieces into her own collection.

But Talia, who admitted that she sometimes gets distracted by going on bike rides or playing on the computer, said she enjoys the freedom to create, and doesn’t think she’ll run out of inspiration any time soon.

“I like that you get to take your time and make a piece,” she said. “You can have fun with it.”


1CS43(23 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

wow....good luck!

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2janeyblue3(85 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Well done Talia and good luck !

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3ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Whoa there! This is not America anymore where you can just have an idea and then make something for sale. This girl is going to need a painful lesson in federal government regulation if she is going to have the audacity to pursue the American dream. First thing to do is read through this 16 page guide http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/113995/... to determine if this jewelry is subject to testing for lead, then if it is subject to testing, since each piece is different each one will have to be tested individually before being legal to sell. Shouldn't cost more than a few hundred bucks per test. Does she have a vendors license? Is the "manufacturing plant" fully OSHA compliant? Can she even make this jewelry and be in compliance with child labor laws?

Yeah its a great IDEA for a child to learn entrepeneurship at an early age, but our nanny overseers in government think that this girl's activities pose a grave threat to the safety of all Americans.

And thus concludes your lesson in government over-regulation!

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4NilesOhio(997 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

That's awesome! Keep up the effort, Talia. Don't ever get discouraged, which you will probably feel at some point. Just work through it and you'll be a better person for it. You're an inspiration to us all.

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5walter_sobchak(2727 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Many of the very successful top business people in the US got their start delivering newspapers when kids. Now, with the internet, it is possible for young entrepreneurs to make and market items internationally. Great job, Talia, on being a motivated youngster and well on your way to being a success. I don't doubt you will be part of the 1%.

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6handymandave(578 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Wouldn't our current President say 'If you got a business, You didn't build that".

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7isaac45(414 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

nerdy?..that's giving them way too much credit.....these are the last people that should be talking to her..talk about soul-destroying dark-hearts

Good luck Talia

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8n4(2 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't worry about lead testing your creations. Most jewelry making supplies were already tested so they could be sold in this country. I've seem compliance with California lead standards (stricter than other states) notes on beading supply websites (Rings-Things, Fire Mountain Gems, etc) as well as nickel content notices (some European countries require "nickel-free" metal parts on imported jewelry). So keep beading and have fun, enjoy exploring your creativity, and best of luck!

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