Assisted by her family, seven-year-old Ayla Gray is already a business owner taking steps to give back to the community. Walking on the beach with her four dogs, Alya’s mother, Molly Cones, taught her “treasure was meant to be found by a creative eagle eye.” The first necklace Ayla made was with a simple nut strung onto a ball chain. Shortly thereafter, Ayla’s Industrials was born.
Where do you find the items you use in your jewelry?
Ayla: On the ground at the beach, mostly I find them in parking lots.
Molly: Since Ayla was two, she and I spent a lot of time collecting sharks teeth at the beach and walking our dogs. On numerous dog walks, Ayla would find “treasure” on the ground.
What made you decide to start making jewelry with the treasures you found?
Ayla: Because no one ever did it before. And, some people like old, rustic nuts and bolts, and never had the idea to make them into jewelry.
Molly: One day, her stepmom had on a ball chain necklace with a simple nut as the charm. I asked her right away where she got such a cool, industrial piece and she said Ayla made it for her! She found the nut on the ground, found the chain in her Dad’s garage toolbox and her first piece was born. Not too long after that, Ayla found me a large rusted nut buried in the ground and I too put it on a ball chain. Her stepmom and I layered her pieces and more and more people asked where we got them. That’s when Ayla’s Industrials formed.
What is your family’s role in Ayla’s Industrials? Ayla: They help with the stamping and putting the tags on. Sometimes they help with making the jewelry if we have a lot of sales.
Molly: Both Amber, her stepmom, and myself are actively involved with the marketing and photo productions. Her Dad makes all the stands for the boutiques that carry her collection.
50% of each $32 necklace goes to the animal shelter, which one?
Ayla: We split the money with the animal shelter that my dog Nikko came from.
What is your favorite part about your jewelry business?
Ayla: Being free about it. Every piece is special.
Molly: I love to watch her produce her pieces. She puts creative thought into each piece, as each is unique. She understands the responsibility of having her own business and has been known to say, “Mom, I’m only 7 and I already work!” The lesson is invaluable and the experience has brought her entire family together.
Check out Ayla’s work in local stores and online.
77 San Marco Avenue
363 Atlantic Blvd Thirteen
Atlantic Beach, FL