All Signs Point to 212west
This is ONE direction you'll be happy you're heading in- trust me!
Claire Lancaster is a sweet & intelligent teenage entrepreneur that our community is fortunate to have! Her drive for growing and succeeding is strong, she speaks SO eloquently, and her number 1 fan (mom, Pat) is an amazing example of that as well!
Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Claire spent much of her younger years dedicated to what she loved most, gymnastics! When she was 9 years old she got the opportunity to practice 27+ hours a week at a prestigious gym in Minneapolis ready to go full force for her dream of being an elite gymnast or hopes on getting a college scholarship.
Doing her job well, Claire worked hard at school and gymnastics practice. If any young lady knows how to juggle her priorities and keep her eyes on the prize, it’s Claire! Outside of her two biggest roles, Claire had a niche for creating jewelry. BUT not just any jewelry. Age the sharp age of 13, she came up with the idea of interchangeable word pendant necklaces. She wanted a piece of jewelry that was not only customizable and meaningful to the person wearing it, but also showed the world around them a bit about who they are and what they stand for. HOW INSPIRING!!
Claire owns (with her amazing Momma) a jewelry brand called 212west. It’s mainly an online retail company….BUT get this….they are also in major retail stores such as Herberger’s and the Minnetonka General Store. I call that a success! "When I was 13 years old, I was looking for a fresh, new way to make a statement. I created 212 west so that you can change the world one word at a time." More than just words on a pendant, 212 west is a style that moves with your life. You take on life's adventures and 212 west will be right here- engraving your journey into something beautiful.
When I recently met up with Claire and Pat, I was floored at all the great information they shared about the business and also family matters that are part of the process and sacrifice. Stories and truths like theirs brings awareness and so much respect to the table….dedicated and passionate ladies right here!
Claire was so sweet to gift me with a special pendant, that I’ve worn on a few days I needed some extra uplifting: “Believe" - and now I can’t wait to order more and complete a fully empowering phrase to wear.
I wanted to know more about this amazing young lady, and her successes & challenges with this journey, so we kept the conversation going...
What is one of the most rewarding parts of your work?
One of the most unexpected parts of my work that I’ve found to be the most rewarding is meeting other women. Through my experiences, I’ve met so many bold, brave, and beautiful women who have impacted my journey immensely. Collaborating with other women to share our experiences has helped me realized the power of girls supporting girls. I’ve realized through them that powerful women are paving the way to a better future for younger generations of girls, and that’s a huge motivator. We are all teaching the next generation of girls that they have the potential to create whatever future they dream of having.
What is something challenging you've experienced with your business so far?
Time management has been difficult, as I’m still in high school. It’s hard sometimes to balance a social life, family time, schoolwork, and 212west.
What’s one of your most proud moments/accomplishments?
Making my first sale was a huge milestone for me because it validated my idea. All the hard work that had gone into designing and launching the jewelry suddenly paid off. Another huge accomplishment was getting picked up by Herberger’s -I nearly cried when I got the news.
How can we as a community support YOU?
I think things like HitaTalk are very important when you run a small business. It allows voices to get heard and also helps other people get inspired. I’d just like to say thank you for the opportunity to share my journey.
What’s on the horizon for 212West?
Our goal is to keep growing the community by increasing our product offerings. I have a lot of ideas on where we can take the company.
Learn MORE about Claire and 212west by visiting their website! Purchase directly from their online store, head to a Herberger’s store, visit the Minnetonka General Store OR reach out Claire/Pat on social media:
Claire Fun Facts
She loves Goldfish crackers
Favorite childhood show? Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place
Sweet tooth snack: Special K Bars! “It’s peanut butter rice krispies treats with chocolate on top. I think it’s a midwestern thing.”
Dream Vacation: “I actually went to Australia in 2008 and it was such an amazing experience."
If you had any super power, what would it be? "I would want to be pyrokinetic and control fire. I feel like that superpower matches my personality. (Anyone else thinking of the Alicia Keys song “Girl on Fire” hehe)
What is your favorite Girl Band, or your Favorite Girl Power Song? "Most Girls" by Hailee Steinfield or "Run the World" by Beyonce. - Great choices my dear!