Lisa Frimberger’s life changed after she got a little lost one summer in 2011.
She hopped into her mom’s red Honda for a mother-daughter trip, but they ended up driving around St. Petersburg looking for their destination.
What they found was a bead store going out of business. They decided to buy $300 worth of beads.
“I walked out of the store with my first investment,” Frimberger said.
Two years later, Frimberger, a 21-year-old UF nursing sophomore, decided to take a semester off to start Gator Glass Jewelry, an online store where she sells her homemade beaded jewelry. Her beads can also be found at Ilene’s For Fashion, located at 2441 NW 43rd St.
Frimberger started selling beads during Gator football games this fall. She said she had no idea her beads would be a hit.
During the UF-Bowling Green football game Sept. 1, she stood holding an iron stand, and within five minutes she got her first customer.
Frimberger said she made $100 within two hours, selling one pair of earrings for $10 and two pairs for $15.
By the end of football season, Frimberger said she made about $3,000. Using the money she made from selling her earrings and $1,000 from her father, Frimberger started her jewelry business Jan. 1.
Frimberger said she wanted to make her hobby a business and donate some of her profits, specifically for impoverished women.
“When you look at the percentages, it’s just really sad how many more women are living in poverty,” she said.
Her boyfriend, Mathew Chandler, suggested using Kiva microloans.
A dollar from every purchase will go directly toward funding loans for Kiva, a nonprofit that works with microfinance institutions to provide loans for as little as $25 for people without traditional banking systems.
“She’s awesome and one of the smartest girls I know,” Chandler said. “I was excited to do this with her and try to help her out –make this a success.”
A world away from the women and families she hopes to help through microloans, Frimberger said she still feels a personal connection to the issue of poverty among women.
“There’s so many places in the world where they don’t have any help,” she said. “This is something I can actually do to help them.”
For more information, visit gatorglassjewelry.com
Lisa Frimberger, a 21-year-old nursing sophomore, owns Gator Glass Jewelry line. Her jewelry is available at www.gatorglassjewelry.com or at Ilene’s For Fashion, 2441 NW 43rd St.