By: Kiana Maria
Building a business takes a lot of courage and ingenuity. Especially when you use your business to be able to give back to the community. Sixteen-year-old Lilly Marsh from New Jersey knows how to make giving back and triple its meaning. She is a young entrepreneur who started TumblingBooks. She makes jewelry and gives 50% of her profits to charity. She is also a graphic designer for a very successful teen run magazine on Instagram called Zenerations. We got the chance to speak with this amazing role model to learn more about her success and journey.
Starting a company is never easy, however, Lilly shows that she can do whatever she wants if she puts her mind to it. When asked about her business she said, “I have always wanted to have my own business. When I was in elementary school I would sell duct tape wallets and other handmade items and I found it super fun. However, I first thought of starting an Etsy when I was in middle school. In 2018, when Women's marches were happening all over the country, my mom went to a march in DC. I was sad that I couldn't go and I knew that I wanted to find a way to help. I decided to make pink hat charms and donate all of the proceeds to Women Rising in Jersey City. In the end, I raised over $1000 and I was invited to their founders day and given an award.” It is astonishing what hard work and determination can do for this young woman.
She told us about the experience saying, “I loved every part of the experience, and being able to help others through my love for design and business was the best feeling. After that, I decided that I wanted to be able to reach even more people than the ones in my town so I opened my Etsy shop.” It is amazing to see such a great contributor to society in the way she runs TumblingBooks. We got the chance to ask her what running a business is like. She said, “It is amazing and I love every moment of it. Creating the products, assembling the items, designing cute packaging, putting them in the mailbox, and more! Of course, there are the days where you have no orders, but there are also the days where you launch a new collection and have tons of new orders! Overall it is a great experience and has taught me a lot.” Visit Lilly’s Instagram for her drawings and jewelry designs @tumblingbooksco and don’t forget to purchase some of her amazing jewelry on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/tumblingbooks/
TumblingBooks has been giving back through charities. She recently worked with the Hudson Pride Center for a jewelry sale and 50% of the proceeds went to them. She told us that working with charities has been amazing. She said, “After I sold pink hat charms to raise money for Women Rising I realized that being able to help people through my passion for design is so amazing and I wanted to continue doing it. Once quarantine began I had a lot more free time and decided to devote more time to my Etsy. I made a collection of polymer clay earrings and bookish jewelry and I decided to donate 50% of the proceeds to The Spa Diner in Hoboken. They were making sandwiches for the homeless which was great because it allowed me to help people keep their jobs and give food to those in need. I also created another collection called the Pride Project where I partnered with Zenerations and Hudson Pride Center in Jersey City to create a collection of LGBTQ+ inspired jewelry. 50% of the proceeds from this collection go to Hudson Pride Center.”
The link to purchase from this collection is https://www.etsy.com/shop/Tumblingbooks?ref=seller-platform-mcnav§ion_id=29552403
Zenerations was started in Hudson County by Sophia Delrosario, an amazing writer, and artist. Lilly Marsh has been working with Zenerations since the beginning. She told us how working with Zenerations has been such a rewarding experience. “It's amazing! I discovered my love for digital art during quarantine and I thought that my drawings would never leave my Ipad. Zenerations allows my art to have an incredible impact.” Her work is incredible. She also told us, “The process is pretty simple. Sophia will either give me a photo of the person in the article, the topic, or any ideas she has for the graphic and then I will draw it. I've been doing it every day for the last three months so I am getting pretty good at executing her vision.” When asked why she enjoys she said, “I love it because it gives my art meaning. If a drawing I create just sits on my iPad, it has no impact. But when something I created is seen by millions of people and educates or helps them, it is the best feeling in the world.” Be sure to visit Zenerations on Instagram @zenerations.
As stated before, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Despite challenges Lilly truly shows that Gen Z is more than just TikTok videos and social media. She proves that starting a business can be anyone's turf. Her biggest advice to those trying to start a business is, “If you want to create something, now is the time. Because we are so young, we don't have to worry about making enough money to pay for a house, taxes, etc. There is no stress, so you can just enjoy the experience and have fun.” Her future is as bright as the sun. Speaking of her future, she told us that she hopes to bring more of her designs in local stores. She said, “A couple of years ago I got the opportunity to have some of my jewelry in the Washington General Store in Hoboken. I loved seeing my products in a store and I had planned on trying to get into more stores in my community but because of the pandemic, I have had to put that plan off to the side. However, I am planning on making that happen as soon as I can! I am also looking forward to making new collections and helping more and more people.” Lilly Marsh, you are an entrepreneur extraordinaire, take your journey and run with it!