The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Owner of Divine Stellarum August Donios shares her experience operating a jewelry business

Sydney Hadfield
August Donios poses with her handmade jewelry items. Photo by Sydney Hadfield

As a passionate fifth grader, August Donios had dreams of following in her parents’ footsteps in entrepreneurship; the first step, finding a way to start her own clothing line. Although young at the time, Donios learned to grasp what it meant to be a business owner, her clothing line never took off. Instead, as she grew older, she developed a love for handmade and curated collections and a dream to please others, inspiring her to launch Divine Stellarum — her jewelry business.

Divine Stellarum is named after the Latin word “stellarum,” meaning starlight, and “divine” to capture the essence of it. When she first started the process of making her business in September 2022, it was a hobby before it developed into something she wanted to pursue. She grew as an artist and a business owner once she observed people enjoying the products she made. 

Donios makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets and keychains using beads from Hobby Lobby and bags collected from thrift stores. She assembles her products in her bedroom, on a desk dedicated to working on her jewelry. Depending on the size and inspiration for a jewelry piece, the process can take up to an hour and a half. She uses several types of pliers, pins and a one-step looper to put the beads together. She also uses jewelry kits and O-rings, which hold certain jewelry pieces in place. 

“I’m always trying to find something that can give me inspiration. Especially when I look at other jewelry stuff, I would like to base it off of it, whether it be like the structure of it or the beads,” Donios said.

Sometimes, Donios creates different themes for her new releases of jewelry. Once she decided on a galaxy theme, it opened up an opportunity to explore new techniques and create things out of her comfort zone. 

Designing and building jewelry is the main aspect of her business, but Donios also has to focus on the marketing side. TikTok and Instagram are the two social media platforms she uses, but finding the best trends and times to post content is a difficult part of her planning.

The most that I look at is more of the [TikTok audios] that are being used because those can pretty much dictate whether or not it’ll do [well],” Donios said.

When presenting products to customers, business management pathway teacher Mr. Alex Anderson stresses the importance of interactions between employees and consumers.

If you’re talking about a physical product, a lot of companies like Chick-fil-A rely heavily on their customer service to kind of set them apart from other industries,” Anderson said.

The packaging of her products is also something she needs to take into consideration.

While Donios does not directly interact with the customers purchasing her jewelry, she places an emphasis on her packaging in order to make a customer’s jewelry order feel more personalized. Not only does Donios place the jewelry in a drawstring pouch, but she also makes sure to include stickers, a note and an info card with every order.

“I want to make sure that they’re able to appreciate the work that’s being put into and then also know that I’m taking the time and I care for the pieces that I make and giving to them,” Donios said.

When first launching her business, Donios had some doubts whenever she was about to reveal a themed jewelry line.

“I feel like as an artist, in a way you always tend to doubt other people [liking] your stuff. I always think to myself, before I put [products] in the store, ‘would someone actually buy this’ or like ‘can I do better’ kind of thing,” Donios said.

Donios has to balance being a student while also working on the demand for her products and running her own business. 

“I just wanted to work on my business rather than [focusing] on school. But as time has moved on, I definitely see the value in both so I’m doing my best to balance [education and work],” Donios said. 

Despite her complications, after owning and operating Divine Stellarum for a year and four months, Donios’ hard work is apparent, especially to her friends. Elijah Lua, one of Donios’ friends, has noticed how much time and effort Donios has put into her business.

I can truly tell that she does care a lot about Divine Stellarum. She’s passionate and motivated, and that’s something that a lot of people in today’s time lack, especially when it comes towards something that is as dedicated as this. It’s not just a hobby for her, it’s a job,” Lua said.

In the future, Donios plans on selling at more markets and craft fairs, as well as being more consistent with marketing and posting on social media.

“I feel really successful – I know there’s a lot of people telling me this – but there’s not a lot of people my age that would start a business and then continue forward in high school without dropping it,” Donios said. “I think as a business, as my business, I definitely have grown.”


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