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Clay earring business takes off during pandemic | Made in SA

As many of us have turned to creativity to stay occupied in the pandemic, one woman also turned to art to create earrings – and a thriving small business.

SAN ANTONIO — As a full-time college student and student teacher, Esmy Santillan, is used to being on-the-go. So when the pandemic hit last March, she didn't know what to do with all her down time.

"I remember I cried," Regalitos by Esmy, Owner, Esmeralda Santillan said. 

Looking for a distraction, she turned to a childhood favorite.

"When I was younger, my mom would buy me the things to make ceramics," Santillan said.

She jumped on the clay earring trend after seeing a post online.

"I feel like that's what sparked a lot of our creativity," Santillan said. 

Now the clay has become part of her every day routine, after her earrings grabbed the attention of friends and family.

"It's something I look forward to," Santillan said. "Each step, [is] calming to me."

She rolls out each batch by hand.

However, it was in September when she turned to her clay to help cope with the loss of her grandmother.

"It definitely is an outlet that has helped me emotionally," Santillan said.

Like the Mia named after her grandmother, all of her earrings are now named after important women in her life. 

The products of Santillan's new hobby – turned business – are now being sold all over San Antonio.

"Just to think of it that I started here in my room and everyone likes my earrings," Santillan said excitedly. 

She's hoping each pair can also inspire each person who puts them on. 

"I love wearing earrings," Santillan said. "I feel like even if you have a T-shirt you throw on some earrings and it makes your whole outfit!"