Alumnus gives back through jewelry business
What started as a hobby turned into a full business for USF alumnus Maxim Thuriere. His company, Every New Bead Offers Its Support (EnBois), sells Caribbean-style necklaces and bracelets then donates a percentage of the proceeds to help education in Haiti.
Thuriere went to Aquin in the south of Haiti last month to deliver a little over $850 worth of computers to an after-school program organized by the Haitian Resource Development Foundation (HRDF).
“The school opens at 4 (p.m.) every single day which is after school,” Thuriere said. “It’s open to all students in the area, and everybody’s welcome to go and attend the classes. There’s English classes, and then after that is when the computer classes start, at 5 (p.m.).”
Enbois donates $7 per bracelet, $3 per watch or sunglasses and $2 per necklace to HRDF’s education programs that offer opportunities for Haitian youth, including distance learning, computer literacy and English as a second language.
“It’s an organization that I have a personal past with. I worked with them when I was volunteering with in high school,” Thuriere said. “It’s also an organization that I could personally get involved with and … actually go and give the money personally instead of just sending a check in the mail.”
The ability to actually go to Haiti and help was a major factor, he said.
Thuriere didn’t start making wooden jewelry as a business plan. He started out making jewelry for himself and his friends. But after one friend encouraged him to start selling the bracelets, he created an Instagram page for EnBois. Then after positive feedback, he started a Facebook page and an account on Etsy.
He’s since created the website Enboisbymaxim.com that’s entirely Enbois products and is hoping to start working with more retailers.
“We recently partnered with a chain in Charleston that’s a merchandise store,” Thuriere said. “I really want to start getting it to more markets like that. Obviously, I don’t want to be the one making the bracelets my whole life. So I believe I could focus more of my time on the market and the business rather than spending all my time making beads.”
–Additional reporting by Grace Hoyte.