Anna Jordan’s desk in her sorority home is not only where she works as a full-time student, but also where she runs her own business.
Jordan, a junior business administration major, makes and sells her own statement jewelry pieces under the name “AnnaBanana Jewelry.” In 2018, after making jewelry and clothing as a hobby for years, she started her business on Instagram, @annabanana.jewelry. Soon after, she moved her store to a website.
“It’s kind of cool to see how I started when I was just selling on Instagram and what I was making then to now,” Jordan said. “I think I’ve started making just a lot of cooler, more unique stuff.”
Jordan has always loved making things. She realized she also enjoyed the organizational aspects of running a business, which she said helped her discover what she wanted to study at the University.
“Starting in middle school through high school, I’ve been into making jewelry for fun, and I make clothes and stuff, too. I like crafty stuff like that,” Jordan said. “I was inspired to start [AnnaBanana Jewelry] just to test out whether I liked it and wanted to study business because I didn’t have much direction as to what I wanted to study in college.”
She enjoys maintaining the creative elements of her brand, such as the name and logo, but she also appreciates the logistical aspects, such as deciding costs and figuring out shipping.
Over the summer and extended winter break, Jordan found ways to stay busy with her business.
“I did a lot of collaborating with other small businesses," Jordan said. "I did some giveaway partnerships, and those are awesome for getting more people aware of your brand and for getting a better following.”
Mary Catherine Gray, a sophomore who regularly dons Jordan’s jewelry, is happy to support her friend's business.
“I like that the items are handmade, inexpensive and made from someone here in Chapel Hill,” Gray said. “Supporting local businesses is something that I am really passionate about. It’s just an added bonus that she’s my friend.”
Jordan has also found ways to support local causes she is passionate about through her business. This will be her third year contributing to the Jewels of Hope fundraiser, which is organized by Carolina Women in Business and benefits the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
Paige Murray, a junior and the CWIB vice president of communications, said she enjoyed working with Jordan during the fundraiser last year.
“Not only is [Anna] incredibly talented at designing and crafting jewelry, but she is an incredibly organized and thoughtful small business owner,” Murray said. “She was so dedicated to the cause that when we sold our jewelry and asked her to produce more, she put in extra hours to make more products to sell.”
Jordan said she’s been excited to see other students and Chapel Hill residents wearing her jewelry.
“I remember after the [first CWIB] fundraiser,” Jordan said. “I sat down beside someone on the bus, and I looked over, and they were wearing my earrings, and it was like, ‘Wait, this is kind of awesome.’”
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