Artist: Sharon Paradiso
Company Name: Seedlings: Jewelry Because.
Etsy website: www.seedlingsjewelry.etsy.com
A friend recently asked me, “What does because mean in your company name.” The meaning is two-fold. First and foremost, I want what I make to be natural and easy…something you can wear any time “just because.” The second meaning has to do with why I give a portion of sales to Heifer International. Although I feel strange getting paid for doing something I love, I don’t feel strange turning that into sustainable resources and education for a community.
The mission of Heifer International is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. For more than 60 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Since 1944, they have helped 48 million people through training in livestock development and livestock gifts that multiply. Heifer currently works in more than 57 countries, including the U.S.
Every gift of an animal provides direct benefits such as milk, eggs, wool and fertilizer, as well as indirect benefits that increase family incomes for better housing, nutrition, health care and school fees for children. Recipients “pass on the gift” of offspring of their cows, goats and other livestock to others in an ever-widening circle of hope.
Sharon explained how she came to support Heifer International: My first encounter with Heifer International was Christmas several years ago when my sister purchased a portion of a heifer as a gift in my name. The next Christmas she gifted beehives, which I thought was really special since our maternal grandmother had been a beekeeper, and we grew up with honey.
When I started Seedlings: Jewelry Because., I didn’t want it to just be about selling jewelry. One of the joys I get is watching people get excited when they discover my jewelry, put on a pair of earrings and love them, and know that their purchase is going to help communities to become self-reliant.
My parents raised my sister and me to be self-reliant (raising a garden, learning how to sew, etc.) so it is very important to me to support groups that can do the same on a larger scale. We have been fortunate to be blessed with resources, support and talent, and if we don’t share whatever we have at our disposal, it is then not a true blessing.
To meet other artisans in the area, I recently joined the North Georgia Etsy Street Team. I was thrilled to discover they sponsor an etsy shop that donates to regional charities picked by team members.
Seedlings: Jewelry Because. features handmade jewelry inspired and created from natural materials (including recycled materials wherever possible). I work mostly in silver, copper, shell, pearl, glass, and I’m branching out into stones such as aventurine and turquoise. Additionally, I’ve set three green goals for myself this year:
- move to 100% recycled or ethically sourced materials
- use fair trade or recycled beads when possible
- be mindful about toxic chemicals, and replace them with less harmful ones where possible
Twenty percent of sales go directly to Heifer International on a monthly basis. Keep track of our progress on our own Team Heifer Page: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=178641&lis=0&kntae178641=CDCA2333C7554BB38C09D08B9DFB1187&supId=249504257
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Seedlingsjewelry Fan Page on Facebook: http://bit.ly/AujVA