BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Samantha Wenig has always been crafty. Her mom, Jody, recalls girls at Samantha's summer camp refering to her as Sam "Art" Wenig.
So when the Bedford native came up with the idea of creating beaded bracelets with pewter charms when she was a freshman at Indiana University, Jody wasn't surprised.
"It's the ultimate arts and crafts project," she said.
Blonde Ambition Beads is now nine years old and going strong with Samantha, who now lives in Manhattan, continuing to create bracelets both in her home and with her mom in Bedford.
"My mom was my biggest fan and still is, wearing a stack of Blonde Ambition Beads daily," said Samantha. "I couldn't have started this business without her and my family's support."
The idea began when Samantha was home for summer break, interning at Kenneth Cole, and wanting to do something in her "spare time." She began beading bracelets in her parent's living room and admits she turned into a "woman on a mission."
"I would travel around with a ziplock bag full of bracelets, sell them all, and at the end of the day, it would be filled with cash and I would go back to beading," she said.
All charms can be customized for a more personalized gift.
Seeing the business was actually viable, Jody began helping with some of the original funding and bead ordering. "I am in public relations now and she is in advertising so we're always selling -- on the subway, at lunch and just from personal Instagram photos," said Samantha.
The bracelets are also sold by Samantha's grandmother, a former Pound Ridge resident now living in Santa Fe, N.M. who is Samantha's biggest fan.
The business is a passion project with every bracelet strung by the two women, tied by them, photographed by them and eventually mailed to the customer from them. The added bonus is that they get to be together and share in the experience. "Who wouldn't love working with their daughter?" said Jody.
So far, three out of the four members of the immediate family, save for Samantha's 24-year-old brother, wear the bracelets. Yes, that means dad Bruce wears his 6MM black bracelet daily, even, said Jody, "With a suit."
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