Following a traumatic car accident, a Port Colborne mother and daughter duo found their road to recovery through the creation of their own accessory business.
In the wake of the October 2019 accident, 14-year-old Port Colborne High School student Makayla Goodman found herself struggling in school. Lockdowns and virtual learning the following year did no favours for her mental health, she said.
For Christmas 2020, Makayla’s mother, April Schirmer, gifted her a jewelry-making kit.
“When I first looked at it, I was like, 'really mom? You think I'm going to use this?'” she said.
But after doing some research on the process of jewelry making, she said it opened up her mind to giving it a try.
Makayla found it therapeutic to make jewelry not only for herself, but for other people. She said making jewelry for her friends and making them happy helped her deal with her depression.
The push for turning her hobby into a business came from her mother, who encouraged Makayla to start selling her jewelry while she was shopping online for raw materials. Silver N Soul was born.
Schirmer handles the marketing for the brand and referred to herself as her daughter’s “hype squad.” She said she saw other products online and thought that her daughter’s work could compete and she could sustain starting her own business. She could “see the passion,” in her daughter’s hobby and thus felt it important to encourage her to follow it through.
Her brand Silver N Soul now sells in the Beach Market in Crystal Beach as well as Simply Holistic, a Welland retailer.
Part of the brand’s commitment is to donate 10 per cent of all proceeds to children’s mental health initiatives. Makayla's own brother deals with behavioural issues. A combination of that and her own mental health struggles following the accident showed Makayla the importance of helping children in similar circumstances.
“I don't think (people) understand how draining it is on the daily, how much it really takes from you,” she said. So far the brand has made several donations to different initiatives and hopes to set up a partnership with St. Catharines General Hospital.
Goodman said that to this day, her favourite part of her job is feedback she gets from her customers and she hopes to one day own a storefront for her brand.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News