Kids' homemade jewelry business has a message behind it

A group of six children have found a unique way of passing time during the pandemic by learning about how to run a business and helping others in the community.

And it’s not setting up a lemonade stand.

Siblings Lydia, Alys and Sonya Hyde, of New Milford, and friends Agnes, Henry and Vincent Schiesel, of New Preston, began selling homemade jewelry last week.

The children came up with the idea during a recent visit to the Hammonasset Beach area in Madison. They wanted to make bracelets using shells and sell them on the beach.

Their parents, Carolyn Hyde and Candice Schiesel, respectively, supported the idea of making jewelry but recommended they find another way to get their products out to the public in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Once the children returned to their hometowns, they came up with a plan.

“We gave them parameters and they figured it all out,” Hyde said. “I texted Candice when I heard what they wanted to do with the money. I said, ‘They just went nonprofit.’ ”

The children decided to donate the money they make to nursing homes, hospital workers, beach cleanups and veterinarians.

The shop — named H&S, short for Hyde and Schiesel — opened Sunday at the Hydes’ home.

“H&S is a group of kids making jewelry,” their “About Us” poster posted on social media reads. “We did not want to keep the money (we make) so we donate the money we get.”

The Hyde siblings set up shop at the end of the driveway Sunday and had a handful of customers who had seen the post their mother shared on social media.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” neighbor Kristan Pozzuto said. “It was very well done, and the message was really nice.”

Pozzuto said her daughters, Stella, 7, and Ruby, 5, enjoyed picking out jewelry for themselves and some of their neighbors.

Customer Bob Reiling said he was impressed that the kids came up with the idea themselves and weren’t doing it for a service project.

“It was great to see how much thought they put into this,” Reiling said. “And how they want to give back to the community.”

The children also made a poster citing the precautions they are taking to remain safe and keep their customers safe during the pandemic.

All jewelry is made with new craft materials and is placed in clear bags so items are easier to see and are not touched.

Most importantly, the kids wear masks and gloves.

“They came up with a nice way to do it” Pozzuto said of the safety measures. “They had all the details, with the pre-wrapped jewelry and containers in which to place the money.”

As of Monday, the families had raised $40. The kids are planning to gather Saturday for another pop-up shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers should look for the blue umbrella on the cul-de-sac of Brookview Lane.

Hyde said the children are discussing plans to buy a new game for a local nursing home and food for the animal shelter.