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Teenage entrepreneur is a ‘jewel’ for plastic-free oceans with new business

A 16-year-old from Pembrokeshire has set up a jewellery business to help a marine conservation charity with a goal of a plastic-free coastline.

Sadie Pearce, a student at Pembrokeshire College, has set up her own handmade jewellery business, My Coast, and donates 10% of every sale to Surfers Against Sewage.

Sadie started her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, part of Business Wales and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.

Sadie launched My Coast after completing her GCSE’s and with 11 weeks before the new school year started, wanted to use her time to create an enterprise with a conscience. Using online tutorials to learn how to make jewellery by hand, within only a few weeks, My Coast was operating.

Sadie Pearce set up her own handmade jewellery business called My Coast

Sadie hand makes and sells a selection of silver-plated, plastic-free jewellery including earrings and necklaces via an online shop, with products costing around £10. Her designs are inspired by the ocean and its inhabitants, including turtle earrings and wave pendant necklaces.

Sadie said: “Living by the coast I have seen first-hand the devastating problems facing our oceans with a growing issue around plastic pollution. Every day approximately eight million pieces of plastic finds its way into our oceans, which paints a picture of how massive and detrimental the problem really is.

“I wanted to do something to help, and during the summer holidays I had a lot of free time which made it a great opportunity for me to start a business. The jewellery design allows me to be creative while raising money and awareness for charity.”

Only a few months since its launch, Sadie has seen My Coast’s custom continue to grow through her website and Facebook page, in particular in the run-up to Christmas.

Sadie is currently running her business alongside her A-Levels at Pembrokeshire College where she is studying Business Studies, Media Studies, Sociology and the Welsh Baccalaureate. She is hoping to go to Swansea University to do a degree in Media and Business Studies.

Sadie found out about the Big Ideas Wales service through an enterprise fair at the college, hosted by the Enterprise Coordinator David Gleed, where business adviser David Bannister delivered a talk about the help available for young entrepreneurs.

Sadie said: “I want to go to University to help develop my skills and understanding of the industry. The goal is to run my business while at University, and once I get a degree I would love to open a shop selling my jewellery and continue to support and raise money for Surfers Against Sewage.”

Talking about the help she’s received, Sadie said: “I have had, and continue to have, a lot of support through Big Ideas Wales and David Bannister. He has been able to give me a lot of advice and support and helped me see how I can expand my business.”

David Bannister, Big Ideas Wales business advisor, said: “Sadie is very talented and determined, injust a few months she has managed to turn an idea into a business while being in full-time education. Sadie joins around a third of UK 16 – 24 year olds who generate income from a side hustle. I am looking forward to seeing what she can achieve and the impact the business can have.”

David Gleed added, “Sadie has a clear goal and the determination to make a success of her entrepreneurial journey. Her commitment to supporting a charity through these endeavours is to be highly commended.”

Speaking about the challenges of setting up a business at the age of 16, Sadie said: “It has been difficult to fund the equipment I need to make my products. But now it is all set up and I have had a steady flow of customers, I’m really excited with how the business is progressing. I can’t wait to see where it goes and the impact it can have on the environment through supporting Surfers Against Sewage.”