Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Students Foster Self-Care Through Small Businesses

Ellis Liebeskind-Blaufarb
Ellis Liebeskind-Blaufarb makes and sells jewelry.

Finding ways to make money and practice self-care isn’t a daunting task for some students. In fact, for three students who run small businesses, self-providing and self-care go hand in hand. 

College third-year Skye Slade primarily creates necklaces and earrings that incorporate a handful of different bead types and use wire to stay together. They have gotten busy with school work over the past semester, but plan to pick up their business again next semester.

“I saw videos of [jewelry making] on Instagram [during] my [first] year,” Slade said. “I just decided [that], over the summer, I was going to buy all the stuff I needed to start doing it just to keep myself busy.”

What began as a simple hobby to keep themselves busy evolved into an Instagram account where they sell their artwork. Additionally, they have sold at the Maker’s Market and recommend that other artists sell there as well. 

“I really like the creativity aspect of it,” Slade said. “I like looking for fun beads and learning how to do new types of wirework.”

College third-year Ellis Liebeskind-Blaufarb, who debuted their jewelry at the Maker’s Market, noted its popularity.

“I was really surprised by how well it sold, and it inspired me to keep making better stuff,” Liebeskind-Blaufarb said.

They noted their amateurism at the beginning of their jewelry-making career and wished to communicate to anyone looking to begin that it’s okay to ask for assistance when starting to make jewelry. 

“When I started, I was horrible at making jewelry, and it was really janky, but I’m really glad I stuck with it,” Liebeskind-Blaufarb said. “It was just really helpful to ask for help and admit weakness. I feel like people don’t do that a lot at Oberlin. Everyone’s perfect at everything, which is not true.”

Liebeskind-Blaufarb sees jewelry making as another form of self-care.

“Instead of watching a show in bed, I’ll watch a show and make jewelry,”Liebeskind-Blaufarb said. “It’s a form of relaxing that feels more productive to me, because I hate just laying in bed.”

College third-year Lily Baeza-Rangel’s business is less focused on creative crafting, but she shares some sentiments of other students who run small businesses. Similar to Liebeskind-Blaufarb, she finds her business to be a form of self-care, but she also blends this with her love of making people feel good about themselves. She provides waxing services out of her dorm room in Zechiel House for friends and friends of friends. 

Baeza-Rangel started the business — almost unintentionally because it began as part of her own self-care routine — in her second year. 

“A lot of people who want to get waxed [at salons outside of Oberlin] have to pay for the drive there and for the services, which in a big salon are more expensive [than mine], so I think I’m able to provide that service at an affordable price,” Baeza-Rangel said. “I really like providing that service and making people feel good about themselves.”

Baeza-Rangel is open for business on Fridays and Saturdays, and she works three other jobs in addition to her waxing job.

“It’s a win-win,” Baeza-Rangel said. “I see it as a form of therapy; it gets my mind off of school. I [also] like making people feel good about themselves. So the more hours I do it, the better it is for me.”

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