Upcycled by Caroline Silla

Photo by Kimberly Hutchison

Is there something that you really love to do, but are too afraid to pursue it? More often than not we stand in the way of our own success. However, this is not the case with freshman Caroline Silla. This girl loves sewing and creating new things so much that she took the initiative to start her own Etsy account, UpcycledByCaroline.

Silla first got interested in sewing because she observed her mother doing it so much. When she was about 10 years old, she received her first sewing machine, which she used to make clothes for her dolls. Then, in 5th grade, her and her friend decided to create a pillow business.

Silla laughed as she told Valley, “They were so ugly and I’m pretty sure parents bought them because they felt bad!”

She has come a long way since then, which is why she created her own Etsy account last summer.

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“I had been making headbands for a while and people would always tell me I should sell them. Because I had extra headbands around all the time and enjoyed doing it so much, I just decided to go for it.”

The thing that makes Silla’s items so great is that she will see a shirt, old sweater, curtain, or scarf that has an attribute she likes and makes them into something else. In fact, when Valley sat down with her, she was wearing a beautiful shirt that she made out of a pashmina!

“My passion lies in making things out of upcycled materials, giving old garments and fabrics new life and rescuing them from landfills.”

On her site she sells all types of headbands as well as jewelry, wallets, and scarves.

“I end up selling a couple items a month. It is nothing crazy because I do not do a lot of advertising, but it is good for me being a college student.”

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In the future Silla hopes to combine her marketing major with her passion for sewing. Her dream is to one day sell her items in her own store. Not only does she want to do this, but also give back by raising money for charity with her sales.

“I am taking baby steps now, but I hope to build my business throughout my time at Penn State and hit the ground running when I graduate.”

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