JDRF works to support research toward finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, also called T1D. Their goal is to make daily life better and healthier for those people who have this disease.
When I started researching the design of a new collection to support this organization, I went first to their website to have a look at their logo and the colors they used - general information that could help me find a vision to work from for this collection. What I found was wonderful information to use as I starting planning the collection.
That lead me to question how to incorporate blue in the designs. Although most of my jewelry is sterling silver, I do love gemstones and have used them from time to time in my designs. The stone that came to mind was lapis lazuli, a beautiful rich blue stone with gold or sometimes tiny white flecks of quartz.
On to the next question - does the gemstone lapis lazuli have an association with something? Back to the internet to research this beautiful stone and it's symbolism across time and cultures. I didn't have to look far to find what I wanted - lapis is associated with inner power and courage, two traits that are undeniably associated with people diagnosed with T1D.
So, I had the color and the gemstone I would use for the collection. I knew that I couldn't make an endless number of pieces for the collection so I had to narrow it down in some reasonable way. I will tell you about that process next time!
Til then, click here to see the entire collection: Better Tomorrow Complete Collection for T1D
As I was considering which of so many wonderful charities to support with my jewelry business, several came to mind right away: finding homes for the abandoned animals in our community, cancer research, and Type 1 Diabetes research. Each possibility was so worthy and does such excellent work. How to decide?
My decision ultimately came down to a very personal experience. Several years ago, a beloved family member was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at Christmas time at a very young age. To say the hospital stay was an unhappy time is understating the obvious. The family member, by the time she was released from the hospital, had learned to inject herself with the insulin which was now necessary. Over the intervening years, many finger sticks and injections later, there is still no cure for this disease. Those who are diagnosed with T1D battle the disease every single day of their lives. In the end, for me, I simply felt that I had to support, with my handmade jewelry, the wonderful organization that provides funds for research for Type 1 Diabetes. Go here if you would like more information about this disease.
On Tuesday, June 13th the collection was launched and the jewelry is now on my website. Click here to see the complete collection: http://www.laurateague.com/store/c39/Type-1-diabetes-better-tomorrow
I began slowly to narrow down my focus - I did like the idea of helping the abandoned animals in our city and the need is so great; I admire those who give so selflessly of their time and resources to help find these animals a home. A little closer to home, cancer research was a huge interest, primarily because I watched both my mother and two cousins succumb to cancer not too many years ago (all within one year but that is another story). Finally, diabetes research was on my radar because of another family member's struggle with that disease. In the next post, I will let you know how I finally decided where to focus and how I decided how to accomplish the next step.
Do you remember the "hopes" we talked about for 2017? If you need a refresher, you can go here to see that earlier post. If you looked back at the list you may remember that I was working my way from the bottom to the top of my list. (Don't ask me why, that is just the way it seemed to make sense to me.).
Anyway, the very last thing on the list is "Do something nice for someone else" and I have great news to share!! After several emails back and forth with the wonderful people at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, we have an agreement in place and I will be making an exclusive jewelry collection that reflects the dedication of those who work daily to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and the hope that families living with T1D have as they fight the diabetes battle every single day. (You can click here JDRF or on the logos within this blog post to learn more about the work JDRF does.)
The jewelry collection will be available in early summer and will feature simple shapes that have symbolic meaning to the community I am designing for, along with the blue color that is also symbolic. More details to follow!
Until next time!
Do you remember the list of "hopes" I had for you and me in 2017? If not, you can read the post here. I decided not to make "resolutions" which are easy to make and even easier to forget.
Now, I am working my way down my list of hopes as 2017 gains speed and heads toward spring. Really, I should say I am working my way "up" my list because, for unknown reasons, I decided to begin at the end of my list.
Here is what I am doing to make that list of "hopes" become a part of my life and work.
The last item on the list is "focus on doing something nice for someone else".
I thought about doing something each day (paying for someone's coffee or lunch, for example) but I wanted to think bigger.
What could my jewelry business do to 'pay it forward"?
I started thinking of charities whose work I support and admire. The list was long, let me tell you!
Finally, I settled on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). One of my nieces, who is now 27 years old, (and who is a part-time jewelry model for my jewelry) was diagnosed with this life-altering disease on Christmas Eve when she was just 10 years old.
I contacted the state chapter of JDRF and presented my idea of making a dedicated line of simple jewelry pieces that would have special meaning to those living with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and their families.
My ideas were well received at the state level and I hope to partner with them so that this jewelry can be offered directly to those who would most appreciate it with proceeds going back to JDRF.
There is a chance that this will not work out; they may decide that my jewelry is not a good fit for their organization. If that happens, I will move forward and work with another charity and keep going until I find the perfect fit for my jewelry.
Have a wonderful day! Working on your list of hopes for 2017? I would love to hear in the comments below!
Laura lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and creates jewelry inspired by ancient and contemporary designs and motifs.