One of the many staples at camp is having a decked out friendship bracelet stack. Our newest Camper of the Week, Carly Marks, always had the chicest bracelet stack and now has used her friendship bracelet making skills for her amazing jewelry business CARLYMARLY DESIGNS! CARLYMARLY DESIGNS includes handmade jewelry, baby clothing and unique gifts. Carly also holds DIY Workshops at many different places included camps to teach others her awesome jewelry making skills!
Camp has truly been one of the biggest influences on Carly’s business as she spent most of her 20s deciding what made her the most happy and camp kept coming to mind and launched her business using all the aspects of camp that she loved!
Let’s start stacking those bracelets and learn a little more about Carly!
Where did you go to camp, how many years did you attend, how long was your camp session length?
Camp Nock-A-Mixon in Kintnersville, PA 18930! A zip code ingrained in my heart. 8 weeks.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in a suburb outside Philadelphia, called Upper Dublin. I now live in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia
What are you currently doing?
After teaching for almost a decade, I launched my own handmade jewelry line in 2012, while living in Los Angeles. It’s called CARLYMARLY DESIGNS. At first, I designed/sold handmade jewelry on Etsy and at handmade events. Four years later, my business has expanded to include wholesale (have sold to Urban Outfitters, most notably, and other small upscale boutiques as well), Handmade Pop-Up Shops, and I also teach DIY Workshops at private schools, synagogues, homes, and camps.
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
Camp has influenced me in too many ways to count! Mostly, I spent a lot of time in my 20’s trying to think of what made me so happy as a kid, and camp kept coming to mind. So, I just started living my life with the bigger question being, “How can I replicate the emotions I had at camp?” The answers came naturally!
Getting in touch with my artistic side, interacting with people like me, being outdoors while designing, teaching kids, listening to music while I work; the list goes on and on. I just took all of the aspects of camp I loved, and created a business that made me happy and fulfilled. My husband and I have also written custom camp songs, and have done a few mock rock concerts at camps together!
Additionally, some of my first memories of my passion for jewelry making are from camp. I would often sit lakeside quietly stringing friendship bracelets and writing letters. I did that almost everyday. I also took a jewelry design course on Specialty Day, where professionals would come teach us their trades. That was awesome.
Will your kids go to camp / if so, why is it important that you send them to camp?
Hot topic! As die-hard camp lovers of different camps, my husband and I have discussed many heated topics, but we have YET to discuss where our future kids will go to camp! But they will go. They will definitely go. (To where I went. Obviously.)
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Stationery, Jax, and Trolls!
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Formative. Amazing. Special.
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
I looked up to my campers. I had the same group of girls when they were 10 years old, and again when they were 15 (OSG – Oldest Senior Girls). It was just amazing to watch them grow up and develop lifelong friendships. They were (and still are) so hilarious and fun together; their dynamic was incredible to watch!
What is your favorite/most epic camp memory?
One summer, for a color war break, we all were told to run to the top of the hill, to Lumar Field. We walked disappointedly back down the hill after being told it was a fake break. But then, there were planes still circling us, so we all ran back up the hill, only to see two guys jumping out of a plane with parachutes, each holding a sign saying “COLOR” and “WAR”. Then the leaders came running out blowing their whistles. That was a great feeling.
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
Never throw away old t-shirts!
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
DON’T. EVER. STOP. GOING. Even when people tell you “You’re too old for camp,” keep going.
What is your favorite camp tradition?
What was your favorite camp food?
Our camp chef Manny’s VEAL PARMESAN.
What is your favorite camp cheer?
“SHHHHH. We’re saving our voices for sing! SHHHHH. We’re saving our voices for sing!”
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
LAKE, but only because I sat on the grass :)
Favorite canteen candy?
Most of my camp friends would say Chipwiches, but I was more of a chocolate ice cream cone or water ice girl myself. That, and flirting – does flirting count?
What was your favorite camp activity?
Softball & Taking Nature Club to go on creek walks…
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
“Live 10 for 2”
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
Nock-A-Goggles: When someone you probably wouldn’t date in the real world starts to look unusually appealing in the bubble that is camp.
Favorite camp memento?
What were the biggest trends/must have items when you went to camp or representative of the time you went to camp (i.e. disposable cameras, aqua socks, easy cheese)?
Fluff. Umbros. Soffee Shorts. Tie Dye Anything. Scrunchies. Sambas. Trolls.
Any firsts at camp?
Feel free to add any other questions or information below!
On our very first date, my husband jokingly told me he was a “Camp-Lover” and I was just a “Camp-Liker.” It’s an ongoing joke/competition between us. Clearly, those of us featured as adult “Campers of the Week” are the true camp lovers.
Also – we replicated our joined love for camp at our wedding! We had a campfire with a BBQ and S’mores Friday night of our rehearsal dinner. We picked a location that was outdoorsy, called Sparrows Lodge – it had a small barn and is located in Palm Springs, CA. And after our wedding, we all sat around the fire and sang songs together.
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