Monday, November 21, 2011

Teacher Business Spotlight and giveaway: Olina Star Jewelry

Teacher's Market Business Spotlight: Olina Star Jewelry

I am so excited to start my Teacher Business Spotlight this week! I know that sometimes, teachers have to have a second side-business to be able to make ends meet, which is why I wanted to start this spotlight. This is an opportunity for you to introduce your business, why you got into it, and how you are able to juggle both jobs. :) If you would like your business highlighted here at Teacher's Market, all I ask is for you to donate a giveaway in exchange for the spotlight. Please email me at if you are interested.

Now onto this months feature teacher spotlight: Olina Star Jewelry

Hello to all amazing teachers and educators. I hope everyone is gearing up for the Holidays – my most favorite time of the year.

My name is Marie Parekh and I have a confession: I am not a teacher, nor an education staff member, who has the credential to go school every day to teach and handle 30 kids and get paid for. I send my two elementary girls to school, and being a hands-on mom, I’d like to think that I am after all the first teacher they ever knew. Now I consider myself part of the school “staff” because I volunteer as much as I can, not only because I want to be involved in my kids education but I sincerely love the teachers and have very good relationship with them.

Early this year, my aunt who is a special education teacher in Los Angeles, ranted and raved about her life being a teacher. While she loves her job and her students, she expressed that teachers should get more deals and discounts from sellers because not only she feels teachers are not compensated well enough, but because she constantly ends up buying classroom materials from her own money while trying to make ends meet. Sounds familiar to all? And really, how much is left for personal stuff after everything else?

And the light bulb just lit! While many merchants offer special teacher discounts, there is no jewelry store that caters directly to teachers. My teacher-aunt inspired me to create a brand especially for teachers like her who want to reward themselves through a great deal. So I launched Olina Star --- an online jewelry store at teacher’s price. I want teachers to feel and look good all the time, to give in to their personal style without breaking the bank. Coming from the jewelry industry, it was not difficult to source the right product at the right price. Olina Star has over 3000 jewelry styles made of gemstones and high quality silver, steel and other metals. However I want to create a brand that is more than ordinary. I want to make a difference by recognizing and appreciating teachers and educators for all their dedication to our children. Everybody looking for a great deal can benefit from Olina Star but it is our goal to make sure teachers can always afford our inexpensive elegance. Someone once told me “A good teacher needs to look good.” Well it really doesn’t hurt to look nice and teach at the same time, isn’t it?

Since the school opened in September, I have tied up with different schools and Department of Education from different states in honoring and rewarding teachers. I feel privileged to be part of such programs. I am also involved in the other side of education where not many entrepreneurs focus on --- special education. I go to a local hospital where special education teachers work in a modified classroom to teach children with disabilities, illness and special condition. I also visit a special education school in the Los Angeles area. Being exposed to regular education every day, I am also amazed and humbled by the work and dedication of these teachers. I gave away few samples of my jewelry and their excitement and genuine appreciation blew me away.

Olina Star brings a whole new meaning of education for me. If I can make one teacher happy -- one pendant or pair of earrings at a time -- through shopping at Olina Star, then it’s all worth it. This business venture fills up my heart every time I get an email from an excited teacher. That is priceless.

Marie is graciously donating 5 pairs of gemstone earrings for our Teacher's Market giveaway. These would be perfect for a Christmas gift or as a gift to yourselves. To enter the earrings giveaway, you need to like Olina Star Jewelry on facebook then you need to comment here that you like Olina Star on facebook. Looking for Christmas gifts? Be sure to check out the Olina Star website here.

This giveaway ends Monday, 12/5 at 11:59pm MST and the winner(s) will be announced Tues. 12/6. Good luck, everyone! :)


  1. Very pretty stuff on the facebook page (which i liked :)

  2. Unrelated post here, but wanted to let you know I awarded you with the Sunshine Award!!

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners

  3. Those earrings are beautiful! I liked Olina Star on FB! :)

  4. Lovely earrings! I liked Olina Star on FB!

  5. These are very pretty. I will definitely be checking this out.

  6. Pretty jewelry and sweet story!