Creativity in a crisis

Self-isolated at home, one senior has made her entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.

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Photo courtesy of Angelic Tosado

Angelic Tosado, senior, models some of the necklaces she has made. Tosado created her jewelry business, Newmoon Jewelry, shortly after Oregon’s shelter-in-place order was first issued.

When faced with a shut-down school, shut-down social lives, and a practically shut-down country, students’ lives tend to, well, shut down. Some students take advantage of the extended period of self-isolation by sleeping in until noon, spending excessive amounts of time on their phones, binge-watching Netflix until their eyes glaze over, and snacking on whatever is in their fridge whenever they feel like eating. 

But for other students, such as Angelic Tosado, senior, the extended time off provides a perfect opportunity to go achieve their dreams, right from the comfort of their home.

Many of Tosado’s pieces feature colorful glass mushroom and evil eye charms.

Tosado has been making jewelry for a while, but in this period of self-isolation, she decided to take her hobby to the next level. “I started making my own jewelry probably around my freshman year,” Tosado said. “I was getting a lot of compliments on it, and lots of people asking where I bought it. I’d tell them I made it myself. People would ask to buy it off of me or trade something for it. And so this year, after the whole quarantine thing started happening, I was like, it would be really fun to create a little jewelry business.”

Tosado named her jewelry business “Newmoon Jewelry” and created a business Instagram account under the handle @new.moon.jewelry. She posted her first handful of products on March 19, just days after Governor Brown ordered all Oregonians to shelter in place. In the coming days, Tosado’s ‘little jewelry business’ quickly took off, and transformed into a full-time endeavor. “Since I’m in quarantine, it’s almost like I’m running a full-time business,” Tosado said. “I spend anywhere from 2-3 hours a day making jewelry and doing business-related stuff. And then there are certain days where I wake up at 10 or 11 in the morning and I’m making products, packaging them, and trying to ship them out, and I’m awake until 11 or 12 at night.”

Necklaces such as these are available through Tosado’s Instagram account, @new.moon.jewelry.

The majority of the jewelry Tosado makes is one-of-a-kind, although there are a few popular, heavily-requested products she struggles to keep in stock. “I want everyone to be able to look at [my jewelry] and be like, ‘Oh, I can wear that,’ and not be like, ‘Oh no, that’s super-feminine or super-masculine,’ or like ‘no, it looks like too much of one style,’” Tosado said. “It’s open for all genders and for all styles. It’s free-spirited, it’s a really organic and earthy feel. I use a lot of leaf charms and healing stones and glass mushrooms. It’s really earth-based.”

After Oregon’s shelter-in-place order is lifted, Tosado hopes to bring her business out of the digital realm and into the physical one. “I would love to have my own traveling shop one day,” Tosado said. “Like at the Portland Saturday market. I would love to have my own booth and sell things there.”

There are just under 150 products posted on Tosado’s Instagram account as of April 22. She posts new products every week, and the majority of her products are $12 or less.

“When a new moon happens, it’s a new start,” Tosado said. “This jewelry is a new thing, it’s something that is new to the community, new to me. I wanted it to be a fresh look that people really enjoy seeing. It’s a lot of fun, seeing my work on other people and knowing that they are super excited to have it, to own it. I see it more like I’m getting my work out there to make people happy, rather than a business.”