MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Ann Made Clay started as a hobby at the peak of the pandemic and growing to 21,000 followers as a “lucky accident.”

Ann Made Clay is a small business run from a cozy apartment in McAllen. The business creates and sells small-batch polymer clay jewelry.

The inspiration for the business name came from a play on words from the word handmade, as the jewelry pieces are handmade by Anna.

Anna Simmers the founder and creator of Ann Made Clay is a full-time UTRGV Physician Assistant student who creates beautiful and unique pieces of clay jewelry.

Like many learning to make pasta, woodwork, and so much more Simmers decided to pick up a hobby during the pandemic that soon became a passion. Working as an ER Tech in her gap year between undergrad and the start of PA school, the founder of Ann Made Clay started creating pieces “just for fun.”

Inspired by her love for travel and her skill of being detail-oriented, Simmers uses cityscapes and beautiful landscapes as inspiration to create one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

Wanting to share her work, Simmers decided to open an Instagram account strictly dedicated to showcasing her pieces.

Motivated by other clay jewelry vendors on Instagram, Simmers decided to join the market. Only with the intention to sell to friends, family, and locals. Surprisingly to Simmers, her business grew quickly to 10,000 followers.

Attempting to juggle PA school, the start of her clinical rotations, a small business, and a social life Simmers decided to take a break from content producing to focus on school.

Simmers studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as a PA student, this semester Simmers joins other students in clinical work.

PA students at UTRGV must complete 9 specialty rotations to which they learn new skills specific to such specialty. Simmers works full-time at hospitals across the Valley, with 12 hours shifts.

Over the span of a semester, Simmers felt a solid grounding and started creating more pieces enough to start producing content once again.

Fortunately, Ann Made Clay’s success has made it possible for Simmers to live with a little less stress as it pays for her rent and school at the moment.

I have had to take out minimal student loans thanks to Ann Made Clay.

Simmers explained to ValleyCentral how she is grateful for the growth of her small business and how Ann Made Clay fits perfectly into her life.

We are so busy that they don’t allow us to have a formal job because we just don’t have a lot of time for it. So, this is actually perfect because it fits into my own schedule… A traditional job would not allow me to work with my PA school schedule. So, doing this it really fits into my free time, clinic, and school.

Simmers currently creates most of her pieces in her free time as a way to de-stress and go into a world of her own in the evening and late nights, some pieces taking up to 8 hours to create.

As far as releases are concerned, launches are released on the basis of how long it takes for Simmers to create a batch of jewelry pieces.

Now, with a feeling of security and the same passion to create beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, Anna Simmers plans to continue creating clay pieces more for “art and fun” rather than as a source of income after graduating from PA school.