Mother-Daughter Jewelry Designs Worn by Celebrities in Support of Local Charities
All photos courtesy of Jewels For Hope
Caring for an ailing parent can be a full-time job. Sandy D’Andrea knows this very well. She spent nearly a decade looking after her mother, who had Parkinson’s and dementia. She moved her mom into her home, quit her job and dedicated herself to her care.
During idle hours the Stamford resident looked for ways to fill her time.
“I’m very hyper and so I said I have to do something. I started making jewelry,” she says. “When hospice came in for about six months, I started giving pieces to the nurses to say thank you. There’s no way I could have done what they did.”
It was right around that time that she discovered Etsy, the online artisan marketplace, and thought she could sell her jewelry and donate a portion of the proceeds to hospice care.
“I want to help people, especially caregivers,” she says. “I know what it’s like to be a caregiver.”
In 2009, D’Andrea’s daughter Stevie, who attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for advertising and marketing communications, began pitching in and helping her mom promote her fledgling business. The two formed a powerful team — mother, the creative force, and daughter, the business manager — and Jewels For Hope was born.
“I taught her how to use social media and she taught me how to make the jewelry,” says Stevie. “We teach each other and we flourish from there.”
The Jewels For Hope designs are a true expression of both mother’s and daughter’s personalities. They mix bold-colored stones and sparkling crystals. Their necklaces, earrings and bracelets come in a variety of styles, and Sandy says she’s constantly experimenting and creating new pieces.
“We’re both loud and eccentric. We love that bright color and shine,” says Stevie. “We put our tastes in the designs. There are different styles because my mother has a different style than I do.”
Ten percent of the profits from every sale are donated to charity. The company works with five organizations consistently and rotates a sixth charity every year so shoppers can select which they’d like to support. The company regularly supports The Connecticut Hospice, We Stop Hate, Caregivers Fund, Save the Sound and Labs 4 Rescue. This year, Jewels for Hope supports The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.
The mother-daughter team has also donated a significant number of pieces to raffles and charities. Stevie says between product and monetary donations, Jewels For Hope has donated between $5,000 to $10,000 over the last few years.
In 2011, Jewels For Hope discovered The Artisan Group, an entertainment-marketing organization that gives a juried group of small businesses the opportunity to include their handcrafted products in celebrity gift lounges and on national television shows. Through the connection, Jewels For Hope pieces have been included in gift bags at last year’s Oscars and on several television shows, including Bones and Law & Order: SVU.
While it’s not confirmed yet, the D’Andreas hope their jewelry will appear in the last season of The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars.
“We are so blessed that we found this group,” says Stevie. “We have a lot of people who have purchased because they saw our jewelry on TV.”
It seems like this is only the beginning for Jewels For Hope. While Stevie still has a full-time job, she says both she and her mother are fully dedicated to their business. They hope to get into a few local boutiques this year.
“My mom will easily make pieces every single day and I will promote every day,” she says. “We are always working.”
Shoppers can purchase pieces through the Jewels For Hope website and Etsy page. Find something you love for yourself or give it away as a gift. Either way, you’ll be supporting local charities and giving back to caregivers who do so much for others on a daily basis.
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