I had this idea of creating jewelry with watermelon-themed beads and donating a portion of the proceeds (or all in some cases) to The Melonhead Foundation as a way I could make a difference. I had volunteered time, and given money at various fundraising events, but this was different—creating jewelry (my passion) and in a sense giving a part of my creative self to the cause. Some might see that as ego-driven, I saw it as a way to help.
Initially I bought beads that said “watermelon” to me and tucked them away for the day that the site was launched. I made pieces and posted pictures on forums naming them my Watermelon Joolz. Something magical happened—several of my “imaginary” forum beadmaker friends asked if they could make beads to donate for my MH Joolz. I never wanted to ask as how people choose to donate their time/money/talents is a personal thing, but I was thrilled. I could expand my vision and my goals with their help!
And the inevitable questions arose: “What kind of beads did I want?” “What colors did I need?”
My response has always been (much to my friend’s chagrin at times…it is a very loose interpretation as they have discovered), that whatever their vision of watermelon themed beads was would be perfect. I had no preconceived notion, really. The bracelet at the top of the header (now) is very whimsical and true to the colors of watermelon, but in reality, not everyone wants to wear jewelry that style. Some prefer more subtle pieces, more organic in nature, more of one color, less of another. The goal was to make jewelry to sell to in turn donate proceeds to the organization so appealing to a wider audience is key.
I have been so touched by the response of beadmaker friends and strangers. One of my “to do” list items is to set up a permanent acknowledgment on my website, as once the jewelry sells, I move the item off and their donation is not as recognizeable. They don’t care, but I do!
Here are some interpretations! We’ve got whimsical and “obvious” to organic and subtle. Aren’t they great (and in case you wondered, I’ve sold just over $600 in Melonhead Joolz since March), and donated pieces at other events that brought in several hundred dollars more.
Bead from Angie in Tennessee (the daughter half of Bead-Addicts)
Beads from Verna (the mother half of Bead-Addicts)
Beads from Sarah in the Netherlands.
Bead from Kaye in Oregon.
Beads from Julie in Michigan.
Just a smattering of the kindess and generosity of fellow artists.
I’m hoping to sell out of my MH Joolz this Saturday evening at the annual MelonFest fundraising dinner and entertainment event. Wish me luck!