Teen turns hobby into a business

Marni says she started making the earrings as a hobby to pass time during Covid.

By Melissa Grant

A Mount Coolum teen has turned her hobby of making earrings into a thriving small business.

Marni Burke started creating her own earrings as a way to help pass time during Covid-19 restrictions.

“I was just making them for family and friends as a hobby,” she said.

“My family and friends said I should start selling them.”

Marni started her business, Maezy Mae Earrings, in November.

Since then, she has sold hundreds of pairs of earrings.

The Coolum High Year 8 student spends about two hours a day on making the beautiful hand-crafted earrings and selling them.

“I find it relaxing,” she said, adding she has fun with creating different designs.

Marni, whose middle name is Mae, sources the materials for her earrings from all over Australia.

She uses resin, timber and glass resin to make them.

Each earring is handcrafted and uses surgical steel backing for sensitive ears.

Marni’s mum Jodie is helping out with the marketing by spreading the word on Sunshine Coast community boards and through her connections as a local teacher.

Marni is also keen to grow her business.

“I’m looking at getting them (earrings) into boutiques, chemists and maybe some markets,” she said.

The 13-year-old is also making earrings to raise funds for the Bloom Hill Cancer Centre.

“I approached them because we’ve lost family and friends to cancer,” she said.

Her goal is to make 500 earrings for the fundraising project, with a portion of the proceeds going to the cancer centre.

Over the long-term, Marni plans to use the money made from Maezy Mae Earrings to buy a car and a unit or house.

You can follow Marni on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/maezy_mae_earrings