At 19 years old, Clair Cole is not your ordinary artist. Neither was her journey to business ownership.
Cole has been working and supporting herself either in part or completely since she was 14 years old and in January she took a great leap. She quit a job she really liked to commit her energy full-time to the creative enterprise she truly loves. She is already reaching milestones in sales and thriving on the opportunities for art, healing and nurturing everyone she meets.
Her unlikely path began at age 14 when she dropped out of high school. “I had a rocky home life growing up and suffered from anxiety and depression. My mom had some problems and I basically raised myself since middle school age. I tried home school and public school and it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t fit in that box but I still needed to figure out how I could be self-sufficient. Then, when I was 16, my mother asked me to move out of her house. But I was lucky enough to be able to stay with friends and I am super grateful that I was never left for the streets.”
Undaunted, she put herself through a GED program and literally earned her diploma by paying the school fees herself. “My GED was the first taste of success and I realized all the things I could do now that I was capable of finishing.”
During that time she also channeled her stress into creating jewelry out of the crystals she had always been drawn to. “I had a counselor who worked with crystals and stones. She had a way of bringing the magic out, telling me that holding a p
articular crystal would give me strength, and it did. I carried stones with me for a long time and was happy when I learned to make them into jewelry to wear on the outside.”
Cole has spent time studying the properties of stones and crystals and admits they have often helped her connect with people. “I like to put people and elements together for healing and nurturing. I know the elements speak to us all the time but not everyone is listening so it’s a little like therapy. I asked one client about her needs and I knew she needed an opal. Turned out she already had one in her hand.” Incidentally, amethysts help with sleep problems and anxiety, lapis lazuli may relieve a fear of public speaking, and wear opals when you’re longing for someone. “I love to help people find something that will help get them to their happiest self. At the very least, we all feel good when we are adorned with jewels!”
When Cole turned 17, jewelry stopped being a hobby and became a real business. “I knew I wanted to be a business owner and my own boss. It’s been almost three years; I haven’t slowed down and I don’t plan to.” In addition to making and selling jewelry, she is working on a business plan, slow and steady; branding, social media and marketing herself. She has enjoyed the crowd-surfing approach from various mentors at Lifeworks, Dell, and friends and family; including her mom, who has been in recovery and they have rebuilt a solid relationship. She is also now a youth ambassador for Lifeworks, helping others become self-sufficient.
“I don’t regret any part of my life because it made me who I am and I am proud of that. I have tried to use every situation to learn and grow and find my own success so I don’t have to repeat lessons. I’ve just developed the habit and craving to be self-sufficient.”
In addition to jewelry, she enjoys making her business an all-sensory experience. Not only does she educate customers about the properties and benefits of her stones, her packaging often includes herbs, flowers and natural presentations to delight all the senses with love, comfort and safety.
While she is a savvy businesswoman, she still takes time to be young. She is an excellent hula-hooper and loves to juggle and sing. She draws and paints, loves to be outside and in museums. She wants to see the world and have a family someday.
“I’ve never taken a handout. It’s important to work to help yourself. So when I reach my goal, having a business like Kendra Scott, I will still have my own style, my personal brand and it will be something that sustains me spiritually and financially.”
Cole’s jewelry and custom requests can be found at SacralSpiritDesigns.com. She can also be found at events and stores from Bastrop to Belton. “I didn’t have confidence growing up so it is a joy to me when someone is drawn to my work for health, love and protection.”