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Small-Batch Clay Jewelry Company Golden Hour Design Co. Born Out of a Pandemic-Inspired Hobby

From the Black Business Month: Stories of St. Louis Metro Area Entrepreneurs and Owners series

When Mikayla Mains started creating polymer clay earrings during downtime amid the COVID-19 pandemic, little did she know that she was actually molding and shaping her future business: Golden Hour Design Co.

“I had found some polymer clay earrings at a market, not knowing that’s what it was made out of,” Mains says, “and once I finally found out what it was, I purchased quite a few other pairs. I needed a creative outlet, so I picked up the hobby myself.”

After posting pictures of her pieces on social media, Mains began receiving inquiries from friends.

“I was like, ‘Of course, I’ll send them to you guys,’” Mains recalls. “People were like, ‘I’ll pay you,’ and I’m like, ‘No, no. I’ll just send it to you.’ Then that just kind of got out of hand after a while, so my husband was kind of like, ‘You should probably start a business. You can’t keep giving them away for free.’ So that’s how it started.”

Mains currently has 27 pairs of polymer clay earrings available for purchase on her website and releases new pieces approximately every two weeks.


Mikayla Mains photo courtesy of Golden Hour Design Co.

“I love for them to be eclectic,” Mains says. “I gravitate toward a bohemian style, but I try to cater my pieces toward a whole variety of people – so anything eye-catching and just working with colors and textures. I would say eclectic is my biggest inspiration. I try to make something that is really cool and modern.”

Mains starts each design by rolling out clay with a general idea in mind.

“I don’t really plan out my pieces a lot,” she says. “I will just sit down, roll out the clay – I usually start with a blank slab and go from there. If I’m adding a texture, that is something you add on the slab itself.”

Mains then cuts shapes from the slab before baking, drilling holes and assembling, and most commonly uses 14-karat gold bindings.

“Typically, I just use colored clay, but I painted one recently because there was no way I was going to get the effect I needed from just using different colors,” Mains says. “That was really fun, actually, so I hope to do more of that in the future.”

And although Mains didn’t initially intend to build a business, that doesn’t mean she isn’t passionate about the process or her products.

“It brings me so much joy,” Mains says. “The thing I love most is seeing customers feeling so confident and so happy with the pieces that they get, and I put so much love on my own into each piece.”

Golden Hour Design Co.,

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