Company Name: Jamilary (pronounced juh-MEE-luh-ree)
Contact: Jamila Thomas
After experiencing tingly numbness and reduced vision in one eye beginning in April 2007, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on July 10th of that year. I recognize that I am quite fortunate in that I received a relatively quick diagnosis. Although I have some residual effects from that first MS episode, I have not had a relapse. I attribute this to being on medications to delay the progression of the illness and making both exercise and a healthy diet high priorities. Research has helped to identify these factors as important to MS maintenance, and research will help lead us to a cure. I’m proud to be able to contribute to that research.
To date, I have donated some of the proceeds from my MS Awareness Bracelet to the National MS Society. Depending upon whom you ask, the MS awareness ribbon is silver – or a prism color that has some iridescence – or pearl-colored. I believe that the lack of an official color is one indication of the limited degree to which public attention has been placed on the disorder. Celebrities like Montel Williams (who has MS) and Michelle Obama (whose father had MS) are, hopefully, bringing MS the much needed attention it deserves. The MS Awareness bracelets that I make are made of sterling silver and labradorite. I chose labradorite because its changing colors symbolize the multitude of ever-changing symptoms people living with MS experience.
Additionally, I plan to donate some of the proceeds from my Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. I have had two aunts battle breast cancer in the past few years. Fortunately, my Aunt Natalie’s cancer was found and treated in its early stages. My Aunt Diane fought cancer for several years and, sadly, passed away from it this past fall.
Throughout my 26 years, I have been a student of fashion with a keen eye for what is right for me stylistically, and I have not been afraid to set the trend. Launching Jamilary, my jewelry company, in March 2007 was a natural progression: http://jamilary.com/ My designs incorporate freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones and natural materials acquired through my worldwide travels and the travel of my family.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I currently reside in South Burlington, VT. In addition to being a jeweler, I am a 3rd year doctoral student at the University of Vermont in the clinical psychology program. My research and clinical interests are psychopathy and forensic populations.
Editor’s note: If you or a person you love is living with MS, here are several websites where you can get input from others seeking information on diagnosis, treatment and complications of this often frustrating condition: