McMaster graduate’s new business is making jewellery both affordable and fun

Fashion choices, including jewellery, are inherently personal but can also be an accessory to explore and have fun with. However, jewellery especially is often seen as a luxury that is out of reach to students as affordability can often constrict choices. Businesses such as Emily O’Rourke’s No Prob Co are helping to make jewellery both more affordable and fun.

O’Rourke is a recent McMaster graduate and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Silhouette during Volume 89. She is currently working in public relations, but about a year ago when she had some time off during the holidays, she began to explore jewellery making.

A few months later when the pandemic began and she had more time, her hobby snowballed into No Prob Co.

“It’s very much a nice passion project. I think I would put it that way. I love doing it and I love having that time to craft or to make things that I like . . . it’s more of a fun thing to do instead of something I focused on as a business,” explained O’Rourke.

“It’s very much a nice passion project. I think I would put it that way. I love doing it and I love having that time to craft or to make things that I like . . . it’s more of a fun thing to do instead of something I focused on as a business,” explained O’Rourke.

O’Rourke mostly makes jewellery and hair accessories, but she has recently branched out into home goods, such as candles. All her products are made by hand and are available through her Etsy store

 

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The reception has been increasingly positive, particularly over these past few months with O’Rourke now receiving orders from across Ontario.

“I really enjoy making things that are fun and exciting and part of my own personal tastes. Like things that I would wear myself or things that I’d buy myself, so I’m glad to know that other people share the same taste as me,” said O’Rourke.

“I really enjoy making things that are fun and exciting and part of my own personal tastes. Like things that I would wear myself or things that I’d buy myself, so I’m glad to know that other people share the same taste as me,” said O’Rourke.

While suggested prices are listed alongside each product, No Prob Co operates on a pay-what-you-can model. Financial accessibility is important to O’Rourke and part of what inspired the name for her business.

“I say no prob and no problem all the time and also I really wanted this to be like an accessible business . . . Accessibility is part of the “no prob” in the name because it’s something that I feel I’ve definitely been relaxed about instead of like “these are my prices, this is what you have to pay”,” explained O’Rourke.

 

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As a recent graduate, she understands that affordability is of particular concern to students when shopping for jewellery, whether it is for themselves or loved ones.

“I think when I was a student, I was very disappointed when I couldn’t find things that I could afford that I liked . . . [but] if somebody else is making it and I can pay what I want, I think that’s a lot more accessible and a lot more like inviting for students particularly,” said O’Rourke.

“I think when I was a student, I was very disappointed when I couldn’t find things that I could afford that I liked . . . [but] if somebody else is making it and I can pay what I want, I think that’s a lot more accessible and a lot more like inviting for students particularly,” said O’Rourke.

O’Rourke acknowledged that while it might not be the most sustainable business practice, No Prob Co is more of a passion project than a business. She wants it to be something enjoyable not just for her, but for others as well.

“I really want someone to walk away with something they really like and I think at the end of the day that’s why I make these things because I really like to make them. So people who maybe like the same things I do can buy them at the rate they want to buy them at and can walk away with something that they can cherish,” explained O’Rourke.

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