Sophomore lacrosse player Lauren Beausoleil holds up one of the bracelets for her business on Sunday, April 2, 2017, outside Coppee Hall. Beausoleil founded her business, Bracelets 2 Benefit, and each bracelet's profits benefit a charity of the buyers choosing. (Annie Henry/B&W Staff)

Beausoleil’s booming bracelet business: Student athlete balances studies, lacrosse and her own company


Senior women’s lacrosse player Lauren Beausoleil isn’t the average student athlete.

She’s displayed success on the lacrosse field as well as in the classroom. But what sets her apart from other Lehigh student athletes is that she owns and operates her own business as a college student.

Beausoleil founded Bracelets 2 Benefit as a sophomore and since then, her business has taken off. The original idea came to her when several people complimented her on a bracelet she received as a gift from a friend. With some online research, she discovered the bracelets were only made in foreign countries and sold exclusively online. Her entrepreneurial mindset led her to contact a seller and from there, the business began.

“I was originally going to be an ambassador selling the bracelets, but what I did not like was that it wasn’t clear where the money was going,” Beausoleil said. “My intention was for the customer to be able to choose where the money went because I had never heard of a business like that.”

The aspect of Bracelets 2 Benefit that makes it different from other businesses is that it has benefited many causes, all chosen by the buyers Beausoleil’s business also only works with Fair Trade Organizations, which allows the people who make the product to benefit from it as well. These two causes together are the reason Beausoleil named the business Bracelets 2 Benefit.

After selling bracelets out of her dorm sophomore year, Beausoleil decided to make the business official that summer. Her dad helped her through the process of making the business a limited liability company, and her mom assisted with deliveries and shipping the orders.

“Lauren has always been very ambitious, and we have supported her since she was first starting her business,” Joann Beausoleil, Lauren’s mother, said. “It’s exciting to see her passions grow into something real.”

By the next school year, Bracelets 2 Benefit also had an official website, designed by one of Lauren’s friends as a project for design arts. The website highlights 12 notable charities customers are able to donate to, but it also gives the customer the freedom to fill in a different charity as well. Beausoleil said one of the most rewarding parts of her business is seeing all of the different charities her customers choose.

“I love hearing how passionate people are about the cause they choose,” Beausoleil said. “I’ve even asked a few people for their stories about why they donated to a certain place.”

Bracelets 2 Benefit allows Beausoleil to express her creativity and help others, but she said there are a lot of challenges to running her own business. She said it’s difficult to time when the orders will arrive from Nepal, and she added that returns can be a pain as well. Beausoleil said a lot of what she has learned in school has helped her with the business.

“I’ve had to finance the business and make balance sheets and income statements, so what I’ve learned at Lehigh has helped a lot,” Beausoleil said.

Beausoleil said the most difficult time to balance her business is during lacrosse season. The processing orders right away and all the support she receives from her parents and friends help the business become less stressful. One of Beausoleil’s current teammates and best friend, senior Allison LaBeau, has assisted her with taking pictures and running the Instagram account.

LaBeau said Bracelets 2 Benefit reflects who Beausoleil is as a person. The purpose is to help other people and do it in a fun and fashionable way. LaBeau said this business is the perfect side project for her friend.

“It takes a lot of courage to actually start a business,” LaBeau said. “Lauren could’ve taken all the profit, but she took an extra step by caring and helping other people put the money towards a cause.”

As for the future of the business, Beausoleil plans to continue building brand awareness and selling the bracelets as a side project after college. She said she wanted Bracelets 2 Benefit to be a fun, learning experience because she is interested in starting another entrepreneurial business some day.

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