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Rachel’s Jewelry Funding Homebuilt LSA
Sixteen-year-old with flying dreams using small business earnings to build plane
By Ti Windisch
July 27, 2018 - There are plenty of shops selling various goods in the Fly Market, but few have as direct a link to EAA’s mission of growing The Spirit of Aviation as Rachel’s Jewelry, located at Booth 789 by Gate 29.
An in-progress SkyReach BushCat sits in front of the trailer that houses Rachel’s Jewelry. The business’s 16-year-old owner, Rachel St Louis, EAA 1161689, is in the process of building it using the proceeds earned from selling her jewelry.
“I’ve had this business since I was 8, and originally it was just to sell things, it really wasn’t meant to be a big business,” Rachel said. “Then a couple years ago I decided I wanted to build my own plane, and I went around and decided which one I wanted to build. I needed to have funding for that because my parents weren’t going to pay for it, they said I needed to pay for it all myself. I decided if I have a business, why not use those profits as money for the plane?”
Rachel’s start in aviation came early in life, thanks to her father, who took her flying when she was quite young.
“My dad is a pilot, and I just always loved flying,” Rachel said. “I’d be in the back sleeping. When I was around 10 years old I’d look down and I’d take the yoke and fly with it, and that’s really what sparked it. I decided I’d build my own plane.”
A broken earring inspired to Rachel’s jewelry business, which she said has been growing steadily over the last eight years after she first sold jewelry at a local craft fair in Maine.
“When I was 8 my mom had a couple beads laying around, and one of her earrings broke so I put it back together,” Rachel said. “It looked good, so I was like oh, I can do more of this. I did more and more and went to a local craft fair and sold out, and it just took off.”
Rachel is currently a student pilot preparing to become a light-sport pilot once she turns 17. She said homebuilding was always her goal when it came to owning an airplane.
“If I was going to have a plane, I’d have to build it so I’d know what every little piece of it is and how it flies,” Rachel said.
In addition to selling her jewelry, Rachel is also offering customers a chance to sponsor one of the pink planes that decorate her BushCat for $50, to help her reach her goal of purchasing a Rotax 912 for the build.