Earrings & Experimentation

Alayna Benz shares her creativity in an inventive way.


Riley Wania

Growing Grapes: Senior Alayna Benz shows off her favorite pair of purple earrings. These grape bundles have been Benz’s favorite from the start

Nowadays, jewelry is something most everyone wears, whether it be rings, necklaces, earrings, or any other variety of piercings. It’s become commonplace for many people to adorn their bodies in silver, gold and everything in-between as a form of self-expression and accessorization, something senior Alayna Benz has taken to in a novel way, explaining her urge to do so came from wanting to better connect with the LGBTQ+ community within her school. 

“I started making my own earrings early junior year,” Benz said.

Posting on Instagram, whenever Benz had whipped up a new pair of earrings, she would have giveaways, happily gifting the pair to whichever of her friends had won, before starting on the next.

“And that’s how it started, and I kept doing that for the rest of last year,” Benz said.

Benz has always loved the reactions her earrings would get from the recipients of each unique pair, remembering them with fondness, accomplishment, and, most notably, joy.

“One of my friends, last year, I made some bird earrings for her, and she just absolutely loved them, she was so happy to see them. When I handed her the box with that pair of little birds, she just squealed,” Benz said.

Sophomore Chloe Tam is one of such lucky individuals who has received two personalized gifts from Benz. Tam and Benz met each other in Tam’s freshman year of marching band, where she also received her first pair of earrings.

“My favorite [pair] was the one Toad pair that she made me, because our section theme was Mario Kart, so she made Toad earrings,” Tam said. “I was really surprised because she’s a really good artist, she’s made one, it was a lollipop for me, and it was really colorful and, like, really good technique.”

Alumna Savannah Carbutt, another friend to get a pair of these hand-crafted earrings, recounts her friend’s offer of a personalized pair.

“So, I guess the story behind it is she approached me one day and, because she knows I love Harry Potter, asked if I wanted her to make a pair of earrings, and she was like: ‘Hey, do you want me to make something for you? They could be whatever you want, or I could just surprise you,’ and I was like: ‘That sounds great.’ A couple of weeks later she gave me these little broomstick earrings… I was so excited to get them from her,” Carbutt said.

Despite her great love for the gift, she often avoids wearing the earrings, describing herself to be quite clumsy, and justifiably worried about breaking them.

“I’ve only worn them once or twice because I don’t want to break them because I’m so clumsy with everything,” Carbutt said. 

Despite the effort, time, and care Benz has put into each pair of earrings, she has been +

-hesitant to turn it into a monetary venture.

“I haven’t really sold any pairs, I don’t like to bring money into it,” Benz said. “I give them away to friends and family. I have recently been considering the idea of turning it more into a business… it wouldn’t be a big thing, it would more likely be asking for a couple of dollars.”

Hesitant as Benz may be, both Tam and Carbutt believe that Benz could easily turn this into a money-making business, showing quite a bit of enthusiasm at the thought of Benz making this into something more.

“I think her craftsmanship is definitely worth it, because she took the time, like, even when she wasn’t charging anything, but still put in the time to make them such good quality, which is amazing,” Carbutt said.

“It’s a boost to my own confidence,” Benz said. “It brightens other people’s day to see these wacky, crazy earrings.” 

According to Benz, the best pair she’s made so far also hold a certain sentimental weight, being the first she’d made.

“The first pair I ever gave away was a pair of dangly grape bundles… They have a special place in my heart,” Benz said.

With these “wacky, crazy” earrings floating around the school, Benz keeps her offer for requests open, and continues to experiment with whatever new ideas she might conjure up roaming the aisles of Micheal’s.