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Senior Joanna Lin Strings Her Way to Success With Noctua Jewelry 

By Shivani Kondubhatla Shreya Selvaraju

Joanna Lin ’23 stumbled upon jewelry making while on the hunt for a pastime to remedy the monotony of quarantine. After spending time experimenting with various jewelry styles, and scrolling through Youtube for assistance, Lin realized that jewelry making was not just a hobby, but something she could profit from — so Noctua Jewelry was born. 

Noctua Jewelry, which Lin founded in 2020, is a business on Etsy that vends jewelry of all kinds, including earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, with the goal of providing minimalist accessories that enable customers to feel more confident. Lin found inspiration for the name “Noctua” in owls, when she discovered that the prefix “noct,” meaning night, is related to owls. This symbolism is emanated in her business’ logo, which features two, owl-like eyes. 

“What I liked about [the name] was that owls are a symbol of Athena, which is why I made [them] my logo,” Lin said. 

With a target market consisting primarily of teenagers, Lin aims to place an emphasis on affordability while offering products that are still appealing to her consumers. 

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“I feel like I’m oftentimes just following the trends but, I think a lot of jewelry is getting a lot more expensive, so I am trying to find [and make] higher quality pieces [that] aren’t as expensive as others,” Lin said. 

The process of starting a business was no simple task, and, when reflecting on what she would’ve done differently,  Lin highlighted the importance of research and planning prior to launch. This preparation, whether it be printing business cards before opening the business, or purchasing all of the materials in advance, exudes an image of consistency for new businesses. 

“I feel like I was just figuring things out when I started,” Lin said. “But I think if you have [everything planned] right when you start, it is really good.”

The initial stages of Noctua’s launch were a struggle for Lin, as she attempted to find her own style and place in the world of jewelry. However, throughout Lin’s journey of developing Noctua Jewelry, the grapple between balancing her school life and business was the primary hurdle she was hit with.

“I had fluctuations of when I would work on [my business] a lot. Then I would get really burnt out, and would stop,” Lin said. “That’s what was the hardest part about working on [Noctua Jewelry].” 

Despite these periods of less focus on her business, the constant support Lin comes back to has kept Noctua Jewelry going. Currently, she has plans to potentially release a Valentine’s Day Collection with new themed designs. 

“[Noctua Jewelry] has fluctuated so much that my friend told me it’s like a K-pop group because I come back twice a year,” Lin said.  

Lin’s upcoming aspirations for Noctua Jewelry this year revolve around consistency and growth. 

“I think posting more consistently and maybe reaching 1000 followers — just little milestones like that,” Lin said. “I think I’m currently at around 160 sales, so maybe reaching 200 [sales].” 

Lin wants to remind eager entrepreneurs that there will be highs and lows when running a business, but in the end, it’s a rewarding path. Despite struggles in staying motivated or finding the perfect product, it is important to keep going.  

“If you do really love making the products or the service that you’re making, for any entrepreneur, I think you should really push through and find what you love and then keep doing it,” Lin said.

Noctua Jewelry Shop can be found here.

This story was originally published on Westwood Horizon on April 5, 2023.