You may have seen students rocking colorful beads all over campus or wearing the funkiest rainbow earrings during Mardi Gras. The woman responsible for these fabulous pieces is Gilly Halper. Gilly is a junior at Tulane studying Communications who recently started her own jewelry business, known as Mindful Beads. Since she was ten years old, she has had a passion for beading. She used to go into local bead stores in her town and play around with different techniques and designs. This has always been a fun, creative outlet for her. She has always loved the idea of being able to pick out exactly what beads she wants in order to create her own unique pieces of jewelry. She also found that hand-making the pieces was a much cheaper alternative to buying from typical jewelry stores.

Although Gilly has been making jewelry her whole life, she never considered selling her creations until her friends started to ask her for their own pieces. She saw this as a great opportunity to start a small business, created her Instagram account, and has been growing more and more ever since! Her Instagram has been a great way for her to showcase her colorful pieces and reach her target audience of Tulane students.

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When deciding on a name for her business, she wanted to encompass her passion for living a positive and purposeful life. Mindful Beads designs can be easily distinguished by their natural, boho vibes and happy colors. Gilly’s goal in her jewelry is to bring out the natural beauty in everyone’s face and to provide each individual with pieces that bring out their unique personal style. There is nothing she loves more than walking around campus and seeing everyone rock their Mindful Beads!

For the time being, Gilly isn’t quite sure about her future brand development. Beading has always been her favorite hobby and something that truly makes her happy. She is trying hard to keep Mindful Beads as an enjoyable activity for her rather than something that feels like too much work. She has quickly learned that she has to be very self-disciplined with balancing her schoolwork and business. She makes sure to prioritize studying first, while still getting all her jewelry pieces done on time for her clients.

Being in a city as creative as New Orleans helped motivate her to find this creative outlet and continues to be a leading source of inspiration for her work. Gilly’s beading is also unique because she draws inspiration from her experience studying abroad in Capetown, a colorful city filled with so many sources of cultural, natural, and fashionable influences.

I can say from personal experience that I love watching Gilly’s brand grow and wear my Mindful Beads almost every day! Her pieces are unique and eclectic, just like our awesome Tulane community. Be sure to hit Gilly up on Insta and check out her amazing pieces for sale at our Art and Music Student Showcase on April 26th!