What started out as a simple admiration for art transformed into a meaningful project for sophomore Sophia Xu.

Xu began experimenting with clay, turning it into magnets, bracelets, earrings and necklaces during middle school.

“I’ve always liked art and I was looking through some YouTube videos of people who make these charms and I got inspired and decided to give it a try,” Xu said.

Once she took the initial steps to crafting these charms, her passion for art allowed her to continue to progress into more complicated and intricate ideas and projects.

“I like to make these charms because it lets me destress,” Xu said. “I also especially enjoy listening to music when I do art.”

Her motivation stems from the environment around her, as well as similar artists or crafters.

“If I come up with an idea or see something cool (like on Instagram or YouTube), I want to try and make it,” Xu said. “The time I spend on each charm varies depending on its difficulty and how much detail I add to it. Some may take just a few minutes and other may go up to 10 or 20 minutes.”

Now, Xu also applies her passion to her 20% Project for English, which includes weekly blog posts, while continuing to be inspired by youtube channels and make more charms during her free time.

“My favorite items are the ones that I spend the most time on (the more complicated ones) or the ones that I think look the best,” Xu said. “I really like the beach in a bottle necklaces. They’re both simple and cute.”

Along the process, Xu discovered the business aspect of her continuous art project. She began selling her art to students, adults, and participated in the Paly Winter Glass Sale as well.

Earning a total of $319 at the sale, she donated the money to the Paly Art Program. Other sales she’s earned has gone to Lizbeth, a low income child from Ecuador, who her English class is currently sponsoring.

“Donating the money makes me feel warm and happy inside knowing that I have done something for a great cause,” Xu said.

Even with her other activities, Xu hopes to continue creating and selling more charms in the future.

“I will definitely sell these charms to students if they would like,” Xu said. “The charms are $5-7 and the earrings and necklaces are $10-20 depending on the material cost and the difficulty for making it.”

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