How a CNM Instructor Built Necklaces that Were Shown on National TV During the Super Bowl

With the help of FUSE Makerspace, jewelry instructor Harley McDaniel was able to produce hundreds of Bengals-related necklaces, some of which were worn by fans who attended the big game
February 23, 2022

CNM jewelry instructor Harley McDaniel grew up near Cincinnati and is a lifelong Bengals fan. One day he saw Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow wearing a diamond-encrusted necklace during an NFL press conference and decided to design something similar that he could show off to his friends and family. Harley made the necklace at CNM’s FUSE Makerspace using acrylic, party beads, and paint. 

Originally, Harley only planned on making a few dozen, but after sharing a photo of the necklaces to a group for Cincinnati Bengals fans on Facebook, he ended up getting hundreds of requests from people all over the country who wanted one, too. Almost immediately, Harley began producing necklaces and shipping them to excited fans.

One of the necklaces produced at FUSE.

“The whole thing was really neat because of how we were able to make the most of such a specific moment in time. Only a makerspace has that agility to immediately respond based on popular demand for a product,” Harley says. “A big manufacturer would never be able to get a product out in time.”

One of the fans who ordered a necklace was Jim Foster, also known in Cincinnati as “Bengal Jim.” A local superfan, Jim was an official guest of the Cincinnati Bengals at the Super Bowl and ordered over 100 necklaces from Harley, which he handed out at the game. Those necklaces were then seen around the necks of several fans on national television.

In total, Harley produced somewhere around 800 necklaces in less than two weeks. But, he says, it never would have happened if it wasn’t for everyone at FUSE who helped with everything from cutting out the designs to assembling and packaging the necklaces.

“That community aspect is what made it possible. I didn’t have to go out and recruit employees. It was just FUSE members who were interested in what I was doing and wanted to help and participate,” Harley says. “There’s tons of cool energy at FUSE Makerspace. We have a lot of creatives and entrepreneurial spirit and everybody there is always willing to help you work through your ideas.”

Harley hopes to incorporate the lessons learned from the experience into the jewelry classes he teaches at FUSE. He also plans to use the money from the necklaces to sponsor a team in the 17th Annual Cardboard Derby at Sipapu Ski Resort that will race using a state-of-the-art cardboard sled designed and built at FUSE.

FUSE Makerspace offers a variety of classes and a community workshop space. Learn more and become a member here.