Jewelry business supports Dallas community during COVID-19 pandemic
In Sanskrit, the word ‘mantra’ signifies a positive resonance, which embodies the goal rising high school senior Nrithi Subramanian aimed toward when founding her jewelry business — Mantra and Company — at the beginning of the year.
Subramanian, along with her executive team, strive to bring about change outside of their social media platforms and, instead, make an impact through donating the earnings of their business to various organizations.
“As teenagers we get stuck with posting on social media as a means to bring change,” she said. “I found myself getting stuck on what to do beyond that and wondered how I could go further. The company is my way of doing that. It is a catalyst setting off the chain reaction for social change.”
Unlike other philanthropic business ventures, Mantra and Company does not donate their earnings to only one social cause. Instead, the company’s earnings have gone toward multiple institutions since its launch. In the beginning, profits were donated towards relief efforts for the wildfires raging within Australia in February. Now, the company has turned inward towards local causes in the Dallas area, including organizations like the Genesis Women’s Shelter and the North Texas Food Bank and, more recently, small businesses struggling during the pandemic have received COVID care packages by the company. These packages contain handmade masks, hand sanitizers, and wipes.
“COVID-19 was very unexpected and we expected to take a hit,” designer and rising senior Mary McCue Bell said. “What the pandemic has taught us, though, is that we can make a change no matter how we do it and no matter where we are, through the company.”
In the five months since the company first launched, it’s experienced immense growth throughout the Dallas area and beyond. Not only has the executive team grown from four people to a dozen, but the brand has also gained 90 ambassadors for their products, which has helped increase popularity even further. Mantra also introduced a new chapter in Minnesota with its own executive board and members, which has expanded the business from a local e-commerce venture to a national scale. While unsure as to what will happen with Mantra once the founding members move on to college, they plan to grow and expand the business and to continue igniting social change through jewelry.
“I think Mantra and Company represents the power of unity and the power of diversity,” Subramanian said. “The feeling of coming together and making an actual change in the world is incomparable.”
Shaye Wattson begins her senior year at Highland Park High School in August.
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