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Jabs and jewelry

Novales strikes a balance between boxing and business

Sophomore psychology major Kaxandra Novales began creating and selling handmade items when she was in high school.

"I guess it was just a combination of my entrepreneurial side and my artistic side," Novales said.

She first began knitting scarves to to make extra money on the side so she could get her nails done for homecoming. The summer before her first semester at Miami, she attempted to sell handmade tie-dye pillows on Etsy, a website for handmade items, but when she came to college, her business quickly changed and grew.

"I saw this opportunity," Novales said. "Because the girls in my hall - I kept on seeing them buy all this expensive stuff and I told them I could be making all of that for them for really cheap."

Novales began asking her friends what they liked, and she started creating crop tops and stretchy bracelets for them. But making tops took time, and she didn't really enjoy making the original bracelets she created.

So, after a semester of trial and error, Novales began her now-blossoming handmade jewelry company, Oxford Made.

Novales crafts earrings, necklaces, hand stamps, rings and bracelets. Oxford Made has an Etsy site, a Facebook store and an Instagram that Novales uses to sell her products.

As of last month, 15 percent of Oxford Made's profits go to a different charity each month. March's charity was the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

"I wanted it to be different every month because I didn't want whatever charity that we picked to be, like, the identity of the thing," Novales said. "We're always changing and it doesn't always have to be the same."

Novales said that she chose the Cincinnati Children's Hospital for March because her company had a table set up at a Dance Marathon, hosted by one of Miami's service fraternities Alpha Phi Omega, in support of the hospital. She has also sold her products at the Oxford Farmer's Market, and hopes to plan events with Miami's sororities.

Currently, Novales makes all of her products on her own. But since her business has been growing so much, she will soon begin looking for permanent employees. She recently began working with AB Visuals, a brand consulting company run by Miami sophomore IMS major Alyssa Brooks.

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"For content, she picks my photos, she edits them and she makes sure everything is consistent, like, aesthetic wise," Novales said of Brooks' contribution to her business.

Aside from running her business, Novales is also the social chair of Miami's boxing club.

"I'm in charge of all of the social media," she said. "I am basically everyone's personal photographer. It's my job to plan the social events. I also plan the parties, too."

Since Novales is one of the club's officers, she is at practice almost every day. On March 2, they hosted a home show, and she said their competitive team has been working very hard lately in preparation for nationals.

Novales said that managing school, her business and boxing have been very difficult but she is slowly figuring it out. And while she is a psychology and neuroscience major, she said she has many plans for after graduation that don't necessarily involve what she is studying.

"I've always wanted to work with the Alzheimer's Association for a little bit," Novales said. "But honestly, I just want to do a ton of stuff. I know I want to be a real estate investor and I want to own a business or two."

Novales said she also plans to continue Oxford Made after she graduates, and she would like to continue working on running it as smoothly and efficiently as possible.