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Faith, Hope and a Whole Lot of Charity

Jewelry designers get involved with various causes to help during the pandemic.

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FROM INDEPENDENT COMPANIES making their own donations and contributions to charities to jewelers who have united in a cause, the jewelry industry is doing its part to make a difference and bring the positivity that comes with getting involved and taking action. Here are some of the charities and designers involved; these stories are being shared on social media and sent out as emails to friends, press and customers.

Supporting Doctors: Ana Khouri

Designer Ana Khouri created a special edition of her Mirian ring, and within two days, it sold. The organization she is donating the proceeds to is Doctors Without Borders.

Khouri sent out an email and posted the following on Instagram: “I’m deeply concerned about the medical community’s lack of vital equipment and supplies during this time. I felt the urge and duty to help, even if in a humble way to support the brave men and women on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m so in awe of the fashion community stepping in to help produce masks, hand sanitizer and gowns (among many other initiatives) to help healthcare workers all over the world. The best way I can help is through my jewelry. I’ve created a one-of-a-kind, blue sapphire Mirian ring and will donate 100% of the proceeds @DoctorsWithoutBorders. I chose blue sapphires for this piece as blue in many cultures is associated with hope, peace and protection. I hope that my donation will help Doctors Without Borders protect healthcare workers all over the world.”

Anna Khouri Mirian ring on finger

Providing Food for Seniors: Samantha Jackson of Heavenly Vices

  • Samantha Jackson created a special online auction for Meals on Wheels America.
  • The online auction ring was her Forget-Me-Not ring in 14K gold. It has sold.
  • Samantha wanted to donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale and asked that the buyer donate directly to the organization.

She explained, “Meals on Wheels America provides more than just a meal to our vulnerable senior population, often the people making deliveries are the only contact seniors have with the outside world. In response to COVID-19, Meals on Wheels has had to rapidly change their delivery models and develop technology-based efforts to check in on seniors since face-to-face interaction is so risky. Additionally, seniors who once were able to rely on their family members are social networks for meals are no longer able to do so with social distancing guidelines, increasing demand for the services Meals on Wheels provides.”

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Samantha Jackson’s Forget-Me-Not ring

Helping Parents: Jennifer Meyer

Designer Jennifer Meyer posted on social media to help generate donations for Baby2Baby, which provides necessities for children living in poverty. In Meyer’s post, she wrote, “During these uncertain times, my team and I want to make sure we do everything possible to help those impacted by COVID-19. For the past three years, I have sat on the board of @baby2baby and have seen how this organization jumps to action in a crisis. Right now, children are in dire need of basic necessities. Parents are out of work, not making a penny, can’t afford to buy items like formula, food or diapers for their children. I’ve heard directly from parents going to the store with their last $5 to buy formula and none is even available. Please donate whatever you can to help these families who need it the most.”

Jennifer Meyer’s post on Instagram for charity Baby2Baby

Fighting COVID-19: Julie Lamb

Designer Julie Lamb is currently donating 25 percent of sales to two charities, the UN Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. Customers can choose which one in notes at checkout on her website JulieLambNY.com, or if they prefer, Julie can split the donation between the two organizations.

Lamb explains both organizations: “The UN Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO Donations supports WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus, to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information, and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund (from The New York Community Trust, NYCT) will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture, because New York is the cultural capital of the nation.”

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Lamb adds, “I am connecting to these charities, giving blood, and working with local artisans all in an effort to feel less ‘non-essential’ at this time. It helps to take part of the solution for the physical and financial health of our beloved New York and beyond.”

Julie Lamb’s The City Collection

Supporting Jewelry Designers: Auverture Designers

Bibi van der Velden, uber talented designer, entrepreneur and champion of her peers, launched the website Auverture.com in 2016 as an online destination for creative fine jewelry and to create a nurturing environment for independent designers and artists. The website has been successful, promoting these artists to global clients and building a support system in which these designers can talk and share and help each other. 61 designers currently participate in the initiative.

“In keeping with this premise, during these uncertain times, our independent designers and their small businesses will be fighting to survive,” says van der Velden. “We believe it is our duty to help our designers. To do this, we have set up The Auverture Designer Fund, pledging financial support to designers during the coronavirus crisis. We’re doing this because we believe this is how we can most valuably help our community, and because we believe in the strength of our designer family and the positive role their creations play in our world .

#Auvertureunited will pledge financial support to designers during the coronavirus crisis. All the profits from sales over the next three months on Auverture will go into this fund with which we can help our independent jewelry designers that are in need of financial aid. Auverture put together a committee of a few industry experts, a financial and legal person, who together will decide who needs to be supported and how.

“The fund launched with an initial donation of €10,000 from Auverture. Over the next three months, all profits from jewelry sales via auverture.com, Auverture’s direct channels, and Auverture’s studio will be donated to the fund. Auverture is putting all its resources and efforts in the coming months into working towards this cause. We will also launch a dedicated page on our site, at auverture.com/auvertureunited, where those who feel they can will be able to donate to the fund, and find out more about our plans to support our independent designers.”

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Moritz Glik garnet and diamond shake ring

Nak Armstrong emerald and gold earrings

Feeding Kids: #Linked Designers and PR execs

After phone conversations and brainstorming sessions, Jen Lowitz of IHPR and Danielle Gadi of Danielle Gadi PR put their initiative into action and named it #Linked, as it would connect a group of designers together to work with No Kid Hungry, a national program run by Share Our Strength. A range of programs through NoKidHungry.com have been put in effect to feed millions of children who are losing their healthy meals that they usually receive in school.

Says Danielle Gadi, “This was a call to action to help raise money as well as visibility through social media for No Kid Hungry in our jewelry design community.”

Jen Lowitz adds, “We left the percentage of sales open-ended. This was the most effective way for all designers to feel comfortable participating in this program.”

The two geared up, called other friends in public relations who represented a range of designers, and put the word out all over social media. #Linked is now up to 124 designers participating. The designers are offering anywhere from 15-30 percent, which will go to No Kid Hungry. The duration ranges from the end of March through when schools reopen. Please check each participating designer’s website. To find the participating designers, you can direct message @daniellegadipr or @ihprteam.

Some of the designers involved include Melissa Kaye Jewelry, Colette Jewelry, Jemma Wynne, Jill Heller Vintage, Marlo Laz Eva Fehren, Deborah Pagani, Jane Taylor, Nouvel Heritage, Sarahhendler.com, Jacquie Aiche, Nak Armstrong, Margery Hirschey. Ana Khouri, Andrea Fohrman, KATKIM, Ariel Gordon Jewelry, Selin Kent, Moritz Glik, and Arman Sarkisyan.

Brent Neale Jewelry posted on Instagram to raise money for No Kid Hungry

Gabriel & Co.

Gabriel & Co. released its 91>19 Bangle with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to Jewelers For Children, which aids children who have been affected by illness, abuse, or neglect. The sterling silver bracelet, which retails for $91, is engraved with the design 91>19. The inscribed 91 finds its inspiration from Psalm 91. Written first by the prophet Moses and later composed into amulets by Jews and Christians during the late antique period, the verse says that hope, comfort and faith shall rise above fear in times of trouble. The 19 is a nod to COVID-19, while the sterling silver material is a reminder of the “silver linings” that occur even in the darkest of times. Whether shoppers believe in a higher power or just the simple math of 91 being greater than 19, this formula and bracelet represents strength, comfort and positivity.

Jack and Dominick Gabriel, devout spiritual brothers and co-founders of Gabriel & Co., hope the bangle will inspire wearers to come together and keep their faith. “We are always profoundly struck by what jewelry can mean during uncertain times to help us stay strong,” says Jack Gabriel. Dominick Gabriel follows up by saying,, “We designed a silver unisex bangle with the inscription of 91>19 on the front and with ‘No harm shall overcome us’ inscribed on the inside to spread this message.”
David Rocha, executive director of Jewelers For Children, says: “We greatly appreciate the continued support of Gabriel & Co. They are always at the front of the line when it comes to helping JFC meet our mission of helping the children who need it most. Jack and Dominick personify what it means to come together and help others during these challenging times.”

91>19 Bangle by Gabriel & Co.

Jenna Blake

Los Angeles based jewelry designer Jenna Blake is selling 10 of her signature gold anchor link bracelets and donating 100% of the proceeds to the Frontline Responders Fund benefiting Flexport.org, a non-profit organization that is focusing all of its resources to transporting medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline responders combating COVID-19. The anchor bracelets will be available through April 30.

“Symbolically the anchor is an image of strength and a grounding force that ties people together whether it is your family or community,” explains Jenna. “It is also a reminder that we are all in this together.” She adds, “I wanted to make a special donation to the Frontline Responders Fund because the medical professionals are the people on the front lines fully exposed and at risk through their choice of helping others.”

In Victorian times through today, the anchor is also a symbol of hope.

Signature gold anchor link bracelet by Jenna Blake

Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.

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