For Tayla Chapa, life has been an extensive twist and turn she’s never been able to fully predict. Starting her own business is something she’s grown to be passionate about, but she never expected it to take off and become such a big part of her life.
Chapa launched her jewelry business, Feminiscence, in January 2020. It originally started as a way to make extra cash while she was doing clinicals in BYU nursing school. The business began small, making clay earrings she would sell to friends or locals in the area. She launched an Instagram account not much later, where the business originally began as “Forever Faye Jewelry.”
The jewelry is released in collections, where each piece is handcrafted by Chapa herself and inspired by historical women who inspire her. The business has evolved over the past year, amassing over 5,000 followers on social media. Chapa renamed Forever Faye to Feminiscence in January of this year, looking for a name that better fit the message of the business. Still, starting a business wasn’t always something Chapa had planned for herself.
Nursing dreams and setback
Chapa was raised in Northern California, moving around a few times before finally settling in Crescent City in high school. Around that time, her parents divorced, which she said was pretty traumatic for her and her family.
Chapa spent much of her high school career having both physical and mental health struggles. The experience of being around so many doctors and nurses throughout her formative years birthed a desire in her to become a nurse herself. By the time she had graduated high school, she planned to attend BYU and apply for nursing school there.
During her freshman year, she spent much of her time on rigid study schedules to keep herself on track for nursing school applications. Her roommate at the time, Elisabeth Cupp, remembers how hard Chapa would work.
“She was the ideal student studying her heart out to understand everything and she was always so excited about what she was learning,” Cupp said.
The hard work continued throughout the rest of her freshman year until she applied for nursing school. It was grueling, and the heartbreak that came after was devastating. Chapa was rejected from BYU’s nursing school on her first try, missing admission by only half a point.
“It was really hard. I opened it with my whole family, and they thought we were gonna go out after and celebrate. When I opened it, I knew we weren’t,” Chapa said, remembering the experience.
At that point, Chapa wondered what she was going to do for an entire semester as she prepared to apply to the program one last time in the winter. That’s when she decided to make more time for personal things, such as dating. She met her husband, Daniel Woodfield, by chance on Mutual.
“We meshed really well together,” Woodfield said. “When we first met, it just fell together naturally.”
That semester allowed her a freedom she hadn’t had before. Instead of declining doing things she loved in favor of studying, she allowed herself to take more fun classes and fall in love with her husband. By the time she applied for the program a second time, she was admitted. Chapa was ecstatic.
Of course, the roadblocks didn’t end there.
Chapa spent much of 2019 enjoying a long engagement period while working through school. While she had finally been admitted into nursing school, the work inside the program meant long hours and difficult classes.
A new creative outlet turned business
After getting married in August 2019, Chapa continued through nursing school and through her clinicals. She loved her classes and her work, but also struggled finding creative outlets or time away from working.
That was when she started making clay earrings. It started as a hobby just for herself, something fun she could do and wear that allowed her to relax and take time away from school. As she felt more comfortable with the work she was creating, she started to wonder if selling them might be a little more profitable.
The business began as showcasing something she was passionate about. As a creative and a women’s studies minor, Chapa wanted to combine both into a business that was distinctly her. When the idea came to honor historical women, it was a no-brainer.
Chapa heads the creative side, and her husband helps her with the business elements of it all. Both said they have felt that running a business together has helped strengthen their relationship as they found working as a team helped each of them be stronger.
Looking toward the future, Chapa sees something bright with Feminiscence. Though she loves nursing, she has started to see the harsh realities of nursing during the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. As her business continues to grow, she believes she could take the jump into doing jewelry full-time.
“Working in this society 40 hours a week with long shifts is exhausting,” Chapa said. “With my business, I can work for myself. I have always been an entrepreneur.”
Despite her life taking a path that has become new to her, Chapa still feels excited and hopeful for the future of her business and her life. Nursing isn’t out of the picture, but Feminiscence has opened many more doors.