Mattea Bernard has turned a creative hobby and pastime into a successful side business for herself.
The 13-year-old Truro Junior High student is from Millbrook and took up beading when she was 11 after her mother and sister took a beading class with her aunt.
“I make different kinds of jewelry out of beads, like hair pins, earrings, bracelets and pins,” said Mattea.
“When I started, I had these beads made for jewelry, so I got my aunt to teach me how to make some. I think she started beading when she was younger, and has been doing it for a long time.”
Eventually, Mattea began making jewelry by herself and she wants to ensure her jewelry lasts.
“Making a piece can take anywhere between half an hour and three hours, depending on what I’m making,” she said.
“The thread I use is $30, so it doesn’t break. For beads, a container is like three to four dollars.”
“After I create a piece, I post it online, package it up in my jewelry box and bring it to school for the teachers to buy.”
Staff at the school are indeed impressed with the young entrepreneur’s talents.
“I think I have 11 pair of her earrings, and I think they are just amazing,” said Kelly Hume, vice principal at Truro Junior High.
“I can’t believe the talent she has at 13. I kind of joke about how all the stars will say they only wear Gucci or Dior, but I always say, I only wear Mattea. I’m just amazed by her all the time.”
The price of the jewelry varies depending on the type of and materials used. Decorative pins cost around $15, bigger items such as hair clips are $30.
Mattea gets inspiration from photos and patterns on the Do-It-Yourself website Pinterest, and even has a page dedicated to her creations on the site.
Hume sees a bright future for Mattea and is excited to find out what comes next.
“I think it’s so exciting, I’m just blown away by somebody so young,” she said.
“Our grade 9 students every year put on an entrepreneurial fair, and with her talent right now, I cannot wait to see what Mattea brings to that in two years.”
Mattea isn’t looking too far ahead though. Instead, she’s just enjoying her time now creating jewelry.