Courtesy of The Bison

Senior Rachel Williams gave a new meaning to the phrase “bloom where you’re planted” by creating Bloom Clay Co. Williams created her own clay earring business while home last spring and has continued to create and grow her business this fall semester. Williams got the name from one of her favorite quotes — “bloom where you’re planted” — and was inspired by a book she read — “Girl Wash Your Face” — to pursue her dream.

“Everyone has something that they can give and has a different creative side to them that is super unique,” Williams said. “I think everyone should remain true to themselves and create a product that they love and are proud of and not worry about what other people think or what other people want you to think.”

Bloom and Clay Co. has been growing this semester in ways that Williams never imagined her small business would, and she has gotten help and support along the way from her friends. Senior Sarah Phillips, who is roommates with Williams, helps run the Instagram account for Bloom Clay Co. Phillips said she has been a supporter from the beginning and has tried to support Williams by purchasing earrings, encouraging her and helping her create new designs.

“I think it’s just so cool how she took a little idea over quarantine and made it into this business,” Phillips said. “She’s doing fantastic with it, and I’ve bought several of her earrings myself.”

Phillips said it was neat to see others around campus wearing and supporting her friend’s business, as well.

“I’ll walk through the business building, and I’ll see four girls wearing [her] earrings, and that’s really cool,” Phillips said.

Williams also created custom earrings for the different social clubs on campus. Phillips said she thinks the earrings brought the clubs together through a mutual appreciation of the jewelry, as well as the community Bloom Clay Co. stands for.

Each set of Bloom Clay earrings is packaged and mailed with a free sticker, which is designed by senior Celeste Parker. Parker said Williams personalized packaging and custom stickers is what sets her apart from other small businesses and creates a connection.

“I think she’s the center point of what a small business is: knowing that you’re getting those earrings from a person and that they’re benefiting directly from what you give them, and I think that’s super cool,” Parker said.