Friday, September 23, 2011

CHALLENGE Response: Lori Anderson on Creating Jewelry for Special Causes

I asked and we received!  Below, Lori Anderson tells us about the jewelry she makes for special causes, how she got started and what it means to her. You can find the jewelry featured here in the "Awareness" section of her jewelry website, Lori Anderson Designs.

I started my awareness section with: 

  • ovarian cancer awareness jewelry (the teal color is the awareness color for this scary, silent cancer).  I had been asked by the Central Maryland division of to participate in their annual event, Rejuvenate, and to make some special awareness jewelry for them.  Later, I made combination ovarian/breast cancer bracelet and earrings because these two cancers often appear together.  

"Free Spirit" by Lori Anderson

  • From there, I was asked to participate with the Breast Cancer Survivor's Tea, which was an event held for breast cancer survivors who had participated in the Race for the Cure.  I made jewelry for sale, but I also made jewelry for auction and giveaway.

  • I started making diabetes awareness jewelry (gray is the ribbon color) because it runs in my family.  I've found a lot of diabetics didn't even know they HAD a ribbon or a color for this disease, and some of my more glitzy and glamorous-style diabetes awareness jewelry has been popular with them.

  • I have IH/Pseudotumor Cerebri, a debilitating condition that right now has no cure and presents with horrible migraines in the eyes, optic nerve damage, and possible blindness.  The color for this is dark green and dark blue, and a couple of my best customers bought my first pieces in honor of me -- I can't tell you what that means to me.

  • I make Pet Adoption Awareness jewelry (purple ribbon) because I volunteer at a shelter and have rescue kitties.  I strongly believe in adopting cats and dogs and stopping puppy and kitty mills.  

  • Finally, I make Celiac Awareness bracelets (light green ribbon) because a friend of mine has a daughter with celiac disease.  

I make awareness jewelry for causes I either am involved with or because friends of mine are directly affected.  I also like to make awareness jewelry that doesn't look like what you normally see out in the marketplace.  I like to use crystal, gemstones, handmade glass, and all kinds of different styles.  My heart goes into each piece, and a lot of hope, too.____________________________________Our special thanks to Lori for sharing this entry with us, and for allowing us a closeup view of her lovely jewelry too!(Please note that the emphasis added with colors and bold lettering was added by me as I prepared the text for the blog.)I encourage anyone who would like to submit their own "CHALLENGE Response" on the topic of "Designing Jewelry for Special Audiences."  There is still time to share your own projects, ideas, and/or questions on the topic prior to Sept. 28.   Thanks to all who have already participated with special entries or comments!   --Sharyl  Sharyl's Jewelry


Sharyl said...

Lori, this gets me to thinking in a couple of ways (sending in 2-parts):

1) I've been interested in using my jewelry-making, (and perhaps my blog and/or website) to help promote NORD (The National Organization for Rare Disorders). I'll write more about that some other time, but I was thinking of putting a link/note on my website, donating a portion of sales, or something to raise awareness & funds.

Your entry has me thinking there could be a VARIETY of possibilities and I should be exploring more of them!

Sharyl said...


2) My second thought relates to why I highlighted certain passages of your text when I formatted it for the blog page. Of course I wanted to draw attention to the cause and the ribbon color, but I also found it interesting as to how you got involved with each cause.

Some were because you had family or friends with the ailment, but several were simply because you were asked. It makes me realize that people are often willing (and sometimes feel honored) to help when asked. If we are already involved with a cause, I'm thinking that rather than go it alone, we should seek out people who can help, and ask for their creative input!

Everyone is a bit luckier that you responded with a "yes!"

Lori Anderson said...

Thanks so much for the interview! If you'd like to make a bigger impact with awareness jewelry, I'd contact your state chapter for that particular awareness organization (some larger organizations may have local or divisional groups). Ask how you can participate in fundraisers, create a special piece of jewelry just for that chapter with portions of proceeds going to them, things of that nature.

Sharyl said...

Thank you for the suggestion, Lori! I always like the idea of working locally to make change globally, but I sometimes overlook that option. Really good idea!

Also, my sincere thanks again to you for willingly sharing this piece on your awareness jewelry with us. We are most grateful!

Leslie Todd said...

My mother is diabetic and I was unaware that there is a ribbon. Interesting blog post, Sharyl, and Lori, thanks for supporting these causes.

Createology said...

Lori I continue to learn so much about what a huge heart you have for so many causes. You give me hope to be a better person...

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

Great interview, very thought provoking. You are both doing such great work for very worthy causes. For me, I enjoyed taking part in the 7000 bracelets for hope challenge which Lori organised earlier this year and would love to participate in something similar which combines making jewellery and giving support to a worthy cause.
Deb x

Beadbug said...

Any little bit of support for what eve you believe in is always a wonderful thing.

T... said...

wonderful post :)

Alex Smith said...

Great Post & great work!! Keep up the good work and continue spreading awareness through your well made jewelery. :)