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Women and Girls: 18-year-old Thunder Bay teen brings her handmade jewellery line

An avid lover of jewellery is creating something for everyone.

THUNDER BAY -- Going to a jewellery store and buying accessories could often be heavy on the wallet. Sometimes it could even break the bank. An 18-year-old Thunder Bay student went to create strides seeing the lack of fun quirky affordable jewellery in the market.

Dawn and Daisy designs are the brainchild of Brooke Ailey and Char Ailey. The sister duo established a new handmade jewellery store in Thunder Bay when their search for affordable jewellery often ended in vain.

While many of us spent hours procrastinating and flipping pages, the Ailey sisters took on new hats on top of their student roles to become young entrepreneurs.

As an avid lover of jewellery, Brooke Alley spent countless times walking through the aisles in stores finding the right fit of jewellery, at which point she decided to establish her line.

“I have always loved jewellery,” she says. “Most of them are expensive and don’t have fun designs.”

For Ailey, what started as filling a void in the jewellery market soon became a cathartic activity for her. “It is stress relieving and highly calming for me,” she says. “Initially, I started this because of the appeal to people. But I realized that I started enjoying more and with more passion, the jewellery sells itself.”

On top of being a student and an entrepreneur, Ailey is also a cross-country skier. To make funds available for her university, she pursued the nontraditional path of being an entrepreneur.

“I was always interested in business, marketing and customer service,” she says. “It is always so exciting.”

Inspired by the outdoors and everything around, the designs created are quirky and mainly focused on a nature-inspired collection. Dawn and Daisy designs are intended to be worn as daily wear and add a little unique touch to your outfit.

The jewellery line also revealed a pride line recently, to support the LGBTQIA community in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas.

Ailey participated in the Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre’s Summer Company Program this year, where she was encouraged to expand and grow her business through grants and skills taught through the program.

With the skillset and immense community support, she’s received for the start-up; Ailey hopes that she could be in the Christmas market in winter.

She is grateful that the business and the program have taught her life skills that she can transfer to real life-like managing finances and registering a business and applying for a corporate credit card, all at a young age.

While Brooke Ailey is going to take a step back from the jewellery designing venture temporarily as she attends university, she hopes that she can come back next summer with wider designs.

Meanwhile, Char Ailey might continue Dawn and Daisy designs in the interim.

You can check out their jewellery line on Instagram @dawnanddaisydesigns or their website.

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