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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Alumna shares love of art through earrings and education

Jasmine Valadez smiles with her earrings for sale at Two Ps and Callis Boutique in San Marcos. Valadez sells her earrings at the boutique, on Etsy and does custom orders on her Instagram @lambsandlemons.

Jasmine Valadez smiles with her earrings for sale at Two P’s and Calli’s Boutique in San Marcos. Valadez sells her earrings at the boutique, on Etsy and does custom orders on her Instagram @lambsandlemons.

What began as a fun way for Texas State alumna Jasmine Valadez to match her earrings and outfits at her job as a student teacher has now turned into a successful polymer clay earring business.
Valadez graduated from Texas State in May with a degree in studio art and a certificate to teach K-12. During her time as a student, Valadez held two student teaching jobs at an elementary school and middle school in Comal ISD. 
There, Valadez wore polymer clay earrings that she made to match her outfits. She would frequently post pictures of the earrings on Instagram and received compliments and questions asking when she would start selling them.
Valadez considered selling her earrings after the positive feedback she received from friends and family on social media. However, once the pandemic hit and learning at her student teaching job went virtual, she got busy and put the idea of opening a shop to the side. 
After her student teaching job ended and quarantine began, Valadez was furloughed from her job at the San Marcos Premium Outlets, which made her realize she finally had time to make and sell earrings. 
“I just started exercising doing fun stuff around the neighborhood,” Valadez said. “Then I just started making the earrings full time, and [the shop] just kind of took off from there.”
Valadez’s shop, LambsAndLemons, is named after a stuffed lamb she had when she was young. Her earrings are currently sold on Etsy, at Two P’s and Calli’s Boutique in San Marcos and through custom orders on Instagram. 
Valadez began selling earrings at Two P’s and Calli’s after selling a pair to an employee, which sparked the interest of one of the managers at the boutique. Valadez shared a few samples and even sold earrings on the boutique’s Facebook Live stream. 
For right now, however, Valadez has put her Etsy and Instagram shop on pause to find a routine that works for her and her new job as an elementary school art teacher that she started in August. 
Brought up and currently living in New Braunfels with her boyfriend and 3-year-old son, she says her desire to become an art teacher stemmed from her childhood when she would teach her younger brother about art. 
“Every summer [my grandma] would have different art lessons for me to do, so I kind of grew to love art that way,” she said. “Once [my brother] was born, I started to babysit him when my parents were working and then I started to teach him art. So I knew that I loved art but then once I started teaching him about art that’s when I was like, ‘I want to be an art teacher’.”
Her favorite part about being an art teacher is being able to get kids to appreciate art. 
“I think [art is] definitely an unsung hero in the world, and a lot of people don’t appreciate it even though it’s in their everyday life,” she said. “Whether it’s things that they choose to decorate their house [with] or the shirt that they’re gonna wear, art is everywhere in the world, and I just want people to appreciate it a little bit more.”
Valadez currently teaches in person and virtually, which she says has been challenging. For her, posting well-thought-out lesson plans online for students does not compare to explaining it to them in person.
The work Valadez has put into her small business and in her role as an educator has not gone unnoticed. Melanie Wilkes, a team leader for specials teachers at Valadez’s school, says it is obvious Valadez loves her students and that they love her just as much. 
“You can tell that [Valadez] is really passionate about [teaching art]. The kids can explain what they’re learning,” Wilkes said. “She gets them excited about it as well, and it’s good to see because you can tell that they’re loving art and loving what they’re learning.”
Despite being so busy, Wilkes says Valadez stays positive and is always willing to be supportive to everyone around her. Valadez’s students and many of the teachers at the elementary school know about her shop, and some have even purchased earrings before, including Wilkes. 
“She cares so much about her students, and you can see it when you just go into the [classroom] and look,” said Tyler Ryan, Valadez’s boyfriend. “You can see that she genuinely cares about every person that walks into her door or logs into her classroom that she wants to make a difference in their lives.”
Ryan says he cannot count the number of times Valadez has told him she wanted to to shop for her students, whether it was for classroom supplies or treats for when students did well in class. 
He says it has been cool to see her small business grow over the past several months, adding that the success of the shop goes to show Valadez does her research and cares about what she puts out to others.
“Her being able to wear so many different hats, whether it’s a business owner, or a school teacher or a mother, I feel like she excels in every single one of those,” he said. “The little things she thinks of just to make a difference in somebody’s life is truly her special quality.”
Despite temporarily putting the shop on pause, she continues to make earrings and shares them on Instagram. Valadez hopes to eventually grow her business and sell at more local shops and farmers’ markets.
To see and shop for LambsAndLemons earrings, check out its InstagramEtsyor shop for them in-store at Two P’s and Calli’s Boutique.

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  • A newly-hired Jasmine Valadez wears a pair of her homemade earrings and smiles with her new school ID as an elementary school art teacher in Bulverde.

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