15 Year Old Starts Her Own Upcycled Jewelry Nonprofit


At Maker Faire, it is not unusual to meet people who spark your creativity. Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone who inspires you to be a better person. For me, that person was 15 year old Rajee Shah, founder of To Green and Beyond.

“I started paper crafting three years ago,” said Shah. “I was in eighth grade. It wasn’t something I had much experience in; I was just looking on Pinterest for some ideas because I was feeling a little bored and I found paper beads. I started making a lot of them and found that I enjoyed doing it. The hobby soon turned into something more. A lot of people told me that [the beads] looked really nice and I should sell them. I figured if I was going to keep doing this, I might as well not have a lot of them stacked up at my house; I could sell them and use the money for a good cause.”

According to Shah, the idea to donate the proceeds to charity has been there from the very beginning. “When I was younger, I had birthday parties where I asked people not to give gifts, but to donate the money to charity. As far as what inspired this generosity, I think its just how my family was; I was taught that it was really important to give back to the community. I’m fortunate to be so privileged and live in a great place in which I’m able to have access to so many things and it’s important to give back to the community by helping others that might not be as fortunate.”

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