Once inspired, twice loved

Girl, 7, finds a passion for making necklaces and helping people

Staff writerMay 3, 2011 

When Maggie Batson lost a beloved necklace last year, she didn't give up when she couldn't find it.

She just decided to make a replacement.

"I said to my mommy, 'Well, maybe we can make some necklaces,' " said Maggie, 7. "And she said, 'Well, I don't know. I don't own a needle and thread. I don't know how to do any of that.'

"But I told my mommy, 'It's easy!' "

Maggie, who lives in Whispering Pines, found some of her old jewelry she was willing to cut up and then found an old pair of pantyhose.

"I was like, "Mama, this can do it!'," Maggie said.

And she didn't stop there. She decided she liked making something new out of something old, and Twice Loved by Maggie B. was born.

The name of the business, suggested by Maggie's dad, a soldier based at Fort Bragg, sums up Maggie's focus on recycling and reusing materials.

The necklaces are made from clean, recycled tights and pantyhose donated by apparel company We Love Colors, and the charms are often mined from old jewelry Maggie finds or is given.

"There are so many different kinds of charms, there are so many different kinds of personalities," said Maggie, describing her creations. "Big charms, small charms, every kind of charms. We make them for kids, babies, teenagers and grownups.

"We make it for everybody!" she added. "Except, well, we made a couple for boys, but not very much."

But Maggie's jewelry helps boys and girls alike, and animals, too. She frequently donates jewelry to fundraisers for children's hospitals and youth-oriented charities, and she's dipped into her own pocket to donate money to her local Humane Society.

"I have a passion for the earth, I love the earth, so I just do it for the earth," Maggie said of her work for Twice Loved by Maggie B. "And hopefully I help people."

Maggie's jewelry is carried in stores in six states, including North Carolina, and was selected last fall to be included in a swag bag at a charity event attended by young celebrities.

"Sometimes I see people I don't know wearing my necklaces," Maggie said. "I'm surprised and I'm happy. I was wondering, 'How high will my necklaces go? How high will they go? Will they reach the sky?'"

They've already reached the stars - in Beverly Hills, that is, where they're now sold after catching a store owner's eye at the celebrity event. And Maggie herself recently gained acclaim with an award from Kids are Heroes, a nonprofit venture that recognizes young people nationwide who are making a difference.

Being an entrepreneur while balancing her busy life as a second-grader at Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School in Carthage isn't easy, but Maggie doesn't have to go it alone.

"It is hard work, but I have a helper like my mommy and my daddy," she said. "They're supporting me, and it's making me stronger, it's making me more confident. And people that I just met are also supporting me. So I feel so good inside that I feel I can go anywhere."

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