Rebecca Brooke Atkinson
A Sister Moon may soon rise in Oxford.
A University of Mississippi student who has made a name for herself locally and beyond selling unique handcrafted jewelry is embarking on a new family business.
Young entrepreneur Sara Caroline Bridgers, 19, is working on a new venture with her older sister, Alli Bridgers, called “Sister Moon.” They plan to create an embroidery business personalizing clothing and accessories with special sayings, some that are unique to the Bridgers family.
While Bridgers is a bit nervous about juggling this new businesses and school work, she is excited to have her own business again, and hopes previous customers will support the new endeavor.
Her big break
Bridgers became a business owner by chance. Who knew a broken necklace could change someone’s life?
When the 2015 yearbook photo rolled around at Oxford High School, Bridgers, 16, felt prepared. Her outfit was planned. Her hair was perfected. And that morning, she decided to wear jewelry. While jewelry usually was not “her thing,” she thought it would make her picture stand out.
As she was leaving home, her necklace broke. She went to her room, found some suede string, and quickly turned her broken necklace into a new one. After receiving compliments all day, she had an idea for her first jewelry piece.
Some of Bridgers close friends asked, “Where did you get that necklace?” After telling them it was a broken necklace she had repaired that morning, they were intrigued and wanted her to repair some of their pieces. She bought suede cord from Walmart, strung the stones, and wrapped them around a small card with a handwritten note. This would soon become her brand.
Later, other community members asked Bridgers to make them a new necklace, and the business began to flourish. Starting off slowly, she ordered around 15 stones and a few different colors of suede cord. After the necklaces were made, Bridgers and other Oxford High students took pictures on the Square to showcase her work.
The next step in building Bridgers’ business was creating her website page, Instagram profile, and the name, Jewels by SarCar. On the day her products launched, every necklace sold out in 12 minutes.
More exposure, more responsibility
Little did she know, only a month after the website was launched, she would be contacted by her first business owner in Corinth, Mississippi who wanted to sell her products. When the Corinth store and Oxford boutique, Therapy, asked her for paperwork, such as line sheets and wholesale orders, she had to quickly learn about real world business.
After a few more local businesses reached out, Bridgers got her big break with one of the trendiest boutiques on the Oxford Square, Miss Behavin. They ordered more than 100 items, her largest order yet.
The business became a family affair. Her mother, father and brother all helped handcraft the jewelry. By the end of summer, all pieces were in stores just in time for college girls and game day.
Bridgers said her main goal was to help college and younger girls accessorize affordably. Her pieces were made so they could be worn multiple ways. Bridgers also provided online tutorials showcasing how many ways her items could be worn. This made some customers feel they were not just buying one piece of jewelry, but two or three.
Bridgers friend, Libby Legard, said she loved the jewelry before coming to Ole Miss.
“I could wear it with almost every outfit and change the whole look,” she said. “Being from Kansas, I had only seen her jewelry Instagram, but had known about it through other girls that I followed on social media.”
Her business was reaching others in different states. As her company grew, so did her ideas. Bridgers began to order more designs and colors to update the collection as seasons and styles changed. Marketing required more than a photo shoot with friends. Bridgers hired professional photographers. Each new collection was essential to her brand to keep customers engaged.
Although Jewels by SarCar was a lot of fun for Bridgers, it did come with challenges. Thinking about splitting her time between her passion and going to the University of Mississippi was a sacrifice. She realized she would need to discontinue her products because the company could not be its best without her full commitment.
After being sold in nine states, multiple stores, making a great profit, and creating a strong reputation, Jewels by SarCar will temporarily be postponed. Bridgers has decided it is for the best now so she can restart in the future and give it her undivided attention.
“I will miss Jewels by SarCar, but I am excited for my new journey,” she said. “I had so much fun while doing it, but I am optimistic about my new business. I learned so much that I think it was a great experience for myself and now for the future of Sister Moon.”