Where It All Started

Lemonade Stand

I'm often asked how I got into jewelry.

Since I was little, I dreamed of owning my own businesses. I was an avid lemonade stand entrepreneur (see photo of my sister, Dad, and me at our lemonade stand), loved playing store, and was obsessed with the cash register I received as a gift one year.

I remember my mom having a box of jewelry supplies. We'd string glass beads on plastic string or wire to create jewelry that only a mother could love. When our family travelled, we'd visit bead stores to collect new jewelry supplies to play around with.

In 2013, two friends and I started Sweet Wild Orange on Etsy, my first jewelry store. That name was soon changed to Studio 15 Jewelry since we were 15 at the time and it made sense in our teenage minds.

I bought beads off of eBay and supplies from Joanns. We made so many eclectic necklaces and bracelets, and I still have them stored away in a box! Over the years, I went through a choker phase, a sea glass phase, then finally reached my gemstone phase. And now we were off to the races!

I made my first Classic Necklace in 2017 with ruby beads. Though it never sold, it was my favorite necklace for years. Today, the Classic Necklace is now our best selling necklace design, so let's just say that I was ahead of the trend ;).

Anyway, I moved from Etsy to my own domain, Mokolo Jewelry Co, in 2018 after doing a whopping 136 sales over five years (we all have to start somewhere right?!?).

Fast forward to 2020, when I did a lot of growing and rebranded the business to And Arlen. I went through a lot of name ideas, eventually settling on a name that combined pieces of my name. And from there, the rest is history!

Well, not quite... though I enjoyed running And Arlen in 2020, I had no plans to run it full time. I got my degree in economics and was planning to work in that field (I interested in the social side, so I didn't take any business classes LOL). Then, the pandemic happened and everything I had planned for after graduation went up in flames.

In September of 2020, one week after I had started a new job, one of my TikToks about our jewelry went viral; it had more than a million views (and I'm guessing that many of you are probably here because of it)! Overnight I had hundreds of orders and hundreds of pieces of jewelry to make as a result—whoops!

Fast forward to March 1st of 2021—I celebrated my first day as a full-time small business owner. I was 22.

That same year I would go on to hire three employees, rent out a private studio space, and continue to grow And Arlen into the business it is today.

To my Mom, who was my first customer way back when, thank you. And to my grandmothers, who have played such a huge part in all of this, thank you. And to you, and everyone else, THANK YOU. You're making that lemonade stand girl so happy.


Miranda Signature

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