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MiVT: Soul Simone

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 2:34 PM EST
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FAIRFAX, Vt. (WCAX) - Aisha McLaren loves earrings, and Nina Simone.

“I am a big fan of Nina Simone. When I’m in the space and creating earrings, I like to listen to music, and I play a lot of her. I feel really soulful in making earrings and why not name it Soul Simone,” McLaren said.

So when she found some old jewelry-making supplies while digging through a closet, it took her down memory lane.

“When I was a teenager, I made jewelry. I just have gotten away from it over the years,” she said.

It also gave her some newfound motivation.

With COVID looming and free time on her hands, McLaren jumped back into the craft she loved so much, just making some for herself and her friends.

But these earrings are too special not to share, and with a little push from her loved ones, she made an Etsy page for Soul Simone in September.

“From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I sold over 100 pairs of earrings, which is really busy because I’m a one-woman show but I’ve loved every minute of it,” she explained.

McLaren has a full-time job working for the state, so this is a side hustle and a therapeutic one at that.

“So, I actually do a lot of hammering, which is a fantastic outlet for stress. So I can have a difficult day, come into my creative space and hammer it out, and the result is pairs of earrings,” she said. “I really love kind of the physical process of making earrings, whether I hand-cut shapes with them with a saw, or I love to utilize tools.”

The brass and copper earrings draw inspiration from life, pop culture and her Hawaiian and African background. But as she says, these bold and beautiful pieces are “earrings for all.”

“My wish is that when people wear Soul Simone earrings, they feel empowered and wear them as an enhancement of their expression of themselves and how they feel,” she said.

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