Zweig establishes successful business, donates profits

Sophomore+Jamie+Zweig+with+her+contact+at+Comfort+Cases.

Photo courtesy Jamie Zweig

Sophomore Jamie Zweig with her contact at Comfort Cases.

In between classes, sophomore and business owner Jamie Zweig’s mind turns with ideas for products, graphics and designs for her Etsy business. When school is finished, she rushes to get all of her homework done so that she can get ready for her work. She walks into her dining room to see the materials and product sprawled all over the table ready to be made and shipped. She picks up a colorful vinyl pattern and cuts it with her Cricut Air ExploreTM 2 machine into a custom monogram. Then, she uses her Glowforge Pro to cut out acrylic material. Zweig’s love for arts and crafts has become a booming and successful business.

During her free time, Zweig likes to do arts and crafts as well as bake and knit. Coming up with new designs and using machines to cut material for her business are fun because of her love for making things. “In college, I started to want to go into medicine with kids but now I am thinking along the lines of social media marketing,” Zweig said.

On the day of her sister’s Bat Mitzvah in May, Zweig and her mom had a surplus of masks. After Zweig’s mom suggested that Zweig tie-dye the masks and sell them, a Facebook post was put out to friends and family in order to see if there was interest. “Fifty people answered, and it grew from there,” Zweig said.

Zweig now has a shop on Etsy – an online marketplace for small businesses where people sell all kinds of products from clothes to personalized gifts – called Jazzed By Jamie. Zweig started off by selling masks with a bunch of different designs including ones that were tie-dyed and had sports and camp logos. Now, she’s moved on to reusable Starbucks cups that can have anything on them and acrylic decor-like signs for rooms and tables. “I got a custom black mask with my initials in sparkly pink letters and it was good quality,” sophomore and customer Kyley Kaplan said.

First, Zweig gets an Etsy notification, then she designs the product. Next, she pulls out the material for the product and sends it to the machine to cut. When the product is finished, Zweig decorates it with tissue paper, accessorizes the product and adds her business card and a coupon, then builds the shipping box and fills it with bubble wrap. “Finally, I print out the shipping label from Etsy and tape the box shut and add the label and it’s all ready to be taken to the post office,” Zweig said.

On Etsy, Zweig has had almost 700 sales shipped to places all over the country including locally in the Gaithersburg-Potomac area to friends and family. “I bought a mirrored monogram wall art decoration that I saw posted on Instagram and thought it was so cute. It’s super nice and good quality and it makes my room so much cuter,” sophomore and customer Nikki Altman said.

A lot of my motivation comes from Comfort Cases and donating and working with them.”

— Jamie Zweig

The majority of Zweig’s profits go back into her business for materials and products, but a portion of it goes to a non-profit organization where she volunteers weekly. Zweig ended up donating the money she made from the masks to Comfort Cases, whose goal is to give foster kids going into new homes a sense of belonging and dignity by providing them individual backpacks filled with items like blankets, journals, pajamas and stuffed animals. She is now partnered with them and sells customized masks there. “A lot of my motivation comes from Comfort Cases and donating and working with them,” Zweig said.

Right now, Zweig’s business is only in the United States but she hopes to expand by taking it internationally. “I would like to be able to stick to one niche that has lots of choices and variety and grow that and continue to donate,” Zweig said.