GU senior and creator of @karenmakesclay

Karen Burrington started making her handmade earrings in August and now sells her accessories on her Instagram @karenmakesclay. 

Crafting hobbies have been on the rise in 2020. Everything from resin projects, stained glass windows, crocheting and embroidery have made an upward climb in the past nine months.

Gonzaga senior Karen Burrington falls into this group. Burrington took up the art of clay jewelry making in August, but she had a different mission in mind than just making fashionable accessories. In her store, which is based on Instagram under the handle@karenmakesclay, Burrington creates handmade earrings and pins where the proceeds go toward the Black Lives Matter movement. 

For the past two months, Burrington has been creating a variety of small pins alluding to the BLM movement, and donating all of the proceeds to the Loveland Foundation. According to the website, “The Loveland Foundation is the official continuation of this effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls.”

 “My radar was open for opportunities to support the Black Lives Matter movement, so when the idea struck I just ran with it,” Burrington said. “I’m really excited about the response to it and how much people do want to support.”

Her pins became successful around the Gonzaga Community, raising around $1,400, which includes a donation from an anonymous donor, who would match up to $1,000 of the purchases of the pins.

 “At the end of every month I donate that month’s chunk [of proceeds from the pins] to the Loveland foundation,” Burrington said. 

Burrington’s pins have also become popular among GU students due to their easy delivery. When an order is placed by a GU student via Instagram, Burrington simply asks for their MSC number and drops off the packages at the mailroom, avoiding shipping costs.

 Taylor Sipila, a senior at GU and friend of Burrington, has supported Burrington’s efforts in supporting the Loveland Foundation by buying some pins, as the BLM movement is an important issue to her and she wants to help in any way she can. 

 “Karen’s pin she designed that says “Black lives matter” reminds me to continue on this self-journey to advocate for justice, unlearn my own biases and denounce the hatred spewing in our world,” Sipila said in an email.

Sipila has also purchased a number of Burrington’s clay earring designs. 

 “I have bought countless pins and earrings! She is a delight!!! The lavender earrings are so beautiful and sturdy with intricate detail,” Sipila said in an email. 

Burrington’s earrings cost on average $15  and the BLM pins cost $10. While pin purchases go toward the Loveland Foundation, earring sales do not. 

All designs are made by hand in her home in the Logan Neighborhood. For those interested in ordering earrings or pins, head over to @karenmakesclay on Instagram and send Burrington a direct message explaining what styles you want and your Venmo information so the charge can go through.

Lindsey Wilson is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyrwilson1.


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