Meet the 20-year-old making a living off earrings and scarves

Childers girl Maddie Drake creates popular business Max & Jelli


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Maddie Drake, Childers, is taking the country fashion world by storm with her earring and scarf business, Max & Jelli. Picture: Lucy Kinbacher

Maddie Drake, Childers, is taking the country fashion world by storm with her earring and scarf business, Max & Jelli. Picture: Lucy Kinbacher

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Watch out Richard Branson, this Childers girl is on to something with her business.

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SHE may be only 20 years old but Childers girl Maddie Drake could very well be the Richard Branson of the country fashion world.

Maddie is the face behind the popular handmade earring, scarf and hair button business, Max & Jelli, which she established as she was finishing high school.

Max & Jelli was initially just a hobby when Maddie began making pressed earrings three years ago and her mother, Leisa Drake, created a clip on scarf to stop her daughter from getting sunburnt while contract mustering.

But when a horse riding accident in October last year while working in the Gulf country left Maddie with a fractured C2 vertebrae in her neck, swelling on the brain and memory loss, she returned home to focus on her business.

"I had an accident last year and they didn’t think I was going to walk,” she said.

Maddie with some of her products.

Maddie with some of her products.

"Mum said, 'Well what are you going to do? Come home and focus on Max &Jelli'.

"So at least if worst comes to worst I could still sit down and make earrings."

While she still suffers from some memory loss and keeps notes on a whiteboard to remind her of orders, Maddie is not only back in the saddle but making a living off of her products which are all made in the family's lounge room.

The young businesswoman employs her mother to help her out and fabric for their products is sourced from across the country.

On average they post five parcels to customers a day while others it exceeds 15 orders, Maddie said.

"My favorite is when they are on a mail plane because when I was up north (working on a property) Mum used to send me stuff and I was so excited,” she said.

"I hope they get as excited if they get a little parcel and it's out in the middle of nowhere.”

Max & Jelli has even been asked to supply uniforms for campdraft committees including Richmond and Middlemount while a Noosa school has also inquired about custom orders for their students.

They only make up to four of each product style meaning customers are ordering a unique item. 

All sales are made through Facebook but they are in the process of upgrading their work space by creating a shopfront at the entrance to their house where Maddie hopes to hold 'Ladies’ nights'. 

An example of how the scarves are worn.

An example of how the scarves are worn.

Maddie said initially people didn't understand the concept and probably doubted the success of the venture.

Her mother Leisa added that even she never expected it would take off like it had. 

But the long hours and hard work have definitely paid off, Maddie said.

"I started doing the earrings towards the end of school and there were all these parties and mum would say, 'You are not going, you’ve got earrings to sell',”she said.

"Now I look back and it was worth it. 

"I always wanted to be in the rural industry, I didn’t know I would be in it in this way. 

"Twenty years old and working from home, I cant complain.'”

Max & Jelli will attend Paradise Lagoons Campdraft and have put in an application to visit the Channel Country Ladies Day. 

For more information visit their Facebook page

The story Meet the 20-year-old making a living off earrings and scarves first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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