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Roommates create online earring shop to cover living costs

Model wearing the trio's earrings

Model Megan Rusch wears the green frog earrings from the trio's reptile collection. 

Aware of their approaching utility bills and inspired by the thought of putting pumpkins, batman figurines and doll shoes on their ears, three roommates decided to start an online shop for handmade earrings.

University of Kansas sophomores Kaja Wakefield, Sadie Putnam and Emma Olinger are the artists behind the new shop, Putlingfield Manor. Olinger and Wakefield are friends from high school, and Putnam met the pair through classes in 2019. 

Roommates create online earring shop

Kaja Wakefield, a film and media major from Overland Park; Emma Olinger, a journalism major from Olathe; and Sadie Putnam, a math and economics double major from Olathe are the creators of Putlingfield Manor.

“A lot of the motivation was that it was fun and we needed money for utilities,” Putnam says.“I was gone for a weekend, and I saw pictures of them [Wakefield and Olinger] making stuff. When I got back they were like, ‘Sadie, we started a business. We’re gonna sell earrings, do you want to help?’”

The friends initially knew very little about the jewelry business, but were driven by their love of art and the joys of crafting together. They are committed to selling one-of-a-kind pieces. 

“We just winged it. The things we are putting on earrings aren’t usually made to be put on earrings, so we had to be creative,” Wakefield says. 

The jewelry the trio subsequently created is unique to them and their small local business.

“They aren’t earrings that you would go into H&M and find. They’re funky,” Olinger says.

Putlingfield Manor offers themed earring collections, which currently include: back-to-school, reptile and doll accessories. The jewelry is made with college budgets in mind, but the low price does not limit their generosity. Each jewelry shipment comes with additional artistic offerings. 

Putlingfield Manor's Earrings

A small sample of earrings from Putlingfield Manor's back-to-school, doll accessory and reptile collections.

“Most of our earrings are $3. The bigger ones, like the doll shoes and the reptiles, are $6. Shipping is free, and we send cute little art and candy in each order,” Olinger says. 

Their personal tastes have shaped the store's selection. Each themed collection includes earrings of different sizes, colors and models.

“Emma likes to make larger earrings,” Putnam says. “I prefer smaller earrings, so I am a voice of reason for making sure we also have smaller earrings for people who don’t want giant pieces. Kaja is somewhere in the middle.” 

Putlingfield Manor’s customer base began as close friends and family, but has now expanded. This is partly due to their creative promotional tactics, including a promotional video the trio recently made for the brand. Most of their promotion ideas are catered towards their target audience: college students. 

“A lot of our earrings are more college student focused, we make things we think they’d like to wear,” Putnam says. “That's why we post a lot on our Instagram. We have a link on our social media to our website where the earrings can be purchased.” 

Freshman Meg Farney, a political science major from Andover, recently made a purchase from Putlingfield Manor. Farney is an avid fan of custom jewelry.

“I was very satisfied with their communication and how nice they were,” Farney says. “I got some really cute lego earrings, erasers and high heel doll shoes. The earrings are really cheap, but still great quality.” 

Putlingfield Manor is still in its early stages, but the roommates have many plans for the future, and are excited about growing their business.  

“We're making a new collection soon. We’re also thinking about making some TikToks,” says Wakefield. 

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad