Are you or someone you know addicted to earrings? Well, My Casual Addiction is the perfect earring company for you! Emily Lasita is a SUNY New Paltz senior majoring in English with a creative writing concentration and minor in studio art. With a funky and fun artistic taste, combined with her knowledge of using a laser cutter.
Emily has created a business called “My Casual Addiction” selling handmade earrings made out of acrylic. Emily is also a sustainability ambassador on campus and incorporates her passion for sustainability by using recycled packaging when sending out her earrings around the United States.
The prices of her earrings range from $8 to $18 but if you’re a student, you can get 20% off when you follow @mycasualaddiction on Instagram. Custom orders are also available upon request! When you buy a pair of earrings from My Casual Addiction, be sure to take a picture of them and tag @mycasualaddiction because she loves to see people wearing her art!
Q: What is your background in art?
A: Before coming to New Paltz, I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY FIT) with my Associate in Applied Science, which was a two-year program designed for immediate employment after graduation. It was great, but I realized I did not want to go into the interior design industry, so I came to New Paltz to change my major. But I did not want to stop doing art which is why I am minoring in studio art.
Q: How did you come up with the name “My Casual Addiction”
A: I’m really obsessed with earrings, I would say I am addicted. Whenever I go anywhere I always buy a pair of earrings. The name “My Casual Addiction” came to me in high school because I thought it would be a cool name for something like a boutique, so I used it for my Instagram account to post my art (also an addiction). When I started making earrings in college, I figured it would be the perfect name for the brand and so I revamped my old Instagram.
Q: Did you also make earrings in High School?
A: I only started making earrings second semester sophomore year. I wasn’t selling them then. I was just making them for fun.
Q: Who/What inspired you to create an earrings business?
A: Well I learned the technology I use to make the earrings for something else. I did not learn it to specifically make earrings. For my interior design class we were learning how to laser cut acrylic, and use adobe programs, to make lamps. We were just making prototypes but I loved it so much I wanted to see what else I could do with it and so I started making earrings!
Q: What exactly is the material you use for the earrings?
A: Its acrylic. I am looking at exploring other materials in the future.
Q: When did you start your business?
A: I guess technically this summer, because I was making them but I wasn’t selling them. Then towards the end of the summer I started putting them online.
Q: Did you put them on Instagram first or Depop first?
A: I put them on Depop first because I felt like if I put them on Instagram I needed to know how to run a business because I think on Instagram you need to have other things to run a business strictly for the platform. I was going to make an Etsy store, but I realized the demographic for Depop is younger–teenagers to early 20’s, early 30’s. I felt that anyone older than that would not want to wear such bright earrings. I might go on Etsy one day.
Q: How do the shapes of your earrings make you feel? How do you want others to feel when wearing your earrings?
A: The earrings make me feel fun and I want other people to feel like they’re having fun when wearing my earrings. The “HaHa” earrings are the first ones I made, and I was thinking about how I wanted something that was quirky, off the beaten path, and unique.
Q: What are the different shapes?
A: I have quotation mark earrings and they are on both sides of your ears so your voice is in between, like your words are in quotes. There’s another one that is the female feminie sign as a hoop earring. I feel like these can be up for interpretation, I picked the translucent material because gender is kind of fluid.
Q: Are there any new shapes that you are thinking of or that are being released soon?
A: Yeah, I made the “Haha” earrings in a different, purple material. I am working on a new design that involves a heart shape coming soon.
Q: Does the acrylic come in different colors or do you put something on top of it?
A: They come in sheets as the color. Some of them I hand paint like the silver on the sides of the Haha earrings. I am looking for different materials for the future but right now it is just acrylic.
Q: Are there any other mediums would you try to use for your earrings?
A: I want to try to use a plant based material, but I have to make sure it would work on the laser cutters because they don’t want to ruin their machines. I am also looking at wood as another alternative.
Q: Would you or do you create any other types of jewelry?
A: I don’t right now, but I have been thinking of it. I have not taken any metal working classes at New Paltz but I definitely want to take one of those.
Q: How do you see people wearing/styling your earrings? Did you think about that when you were making them?
A: I was thinking about that a little bit because, since they are larger, statement pieces, maybe people would wear them to a festival or concert. Even day to day, like I do, if they want something bright in their outfit.
Q: What is the step by step process of making a pair of earrings?
A: Basically everything starts as a sketch by hand, then I usually make a prototype out of paper or cardboard, just to see how it looks on my ears or someone else’s, because I do not want it to look weird when it is actually worn. Then I will take it into the computer and then cut it out.
Q: How long does it take to make a pair of earrings?
A: About a week. When I cut out a couple of pairs it takes about an hour but assembling it all by hand is what takes the longest. Also, designing it on the computer takes a long time because I want to make sure the sizing is right so I always recheck the dimensions. With the female hoop earring I wanted to make sure the back of it did not brush up against someone’s neck, I did not want it to be uncomfortable. So overall with printing and assembling it takes about a week.
Q: What are your ideas to grow your business in the future?
A: I’m thinking that since I’m a student juggling both things but I would like to put more emphasis on the earring business, just by putting more time into it. In the future maybe I would have a website, but right now its just depop and Instagram as my primary way of selling.
Q: Do you think you are going to keep going with the business after you graduate?
A: I would like to, I will probably keep doing it as long as it’s still enjoyable, because I love doing it, it’s really fun. I am making multiple of the same piece but it’s not like I’m mass producing it so it still feels like each one is unique to the person I am giving it to. People wear them different ways too, I know someone who wears just one. Also, I would need to find a facility that would let me use their laser cutter once I graduate.
A version of this originally appeared in
The Teller December 2019 Issue #9
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