Michele makes beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry which she sells on her Etsy Shop, Brooklyngems. She donates 15% of her “Support Ovarian Cancer” jewelry line sales to the foundation. Here’s a little more about Michele, in her own words…
“Jewelry has always been in my life, since my grandfather and his two brothers were all in the jewelry business. Nothing pleased me more as a young child than to venture through my grandmother’s three-drawer jewelry-stuffed nightstand or to watch my grandfather at work, with magnifying loupe (which I inherited and still use today) in one eye, pliers in hand, repairing jewelry.
As an art therapist, I am very in tune with the rewards and benefits of being creative. At one point in my life while I was going through some difficult times, I worked full time making jewelry. It made me feel so satisfied after finishing each piece. I viewed each pendant or earring a little work of art. It was one area of my life I could control the outcome. Creating jewelry never feels like work. It is a challenge and a joy, and truly transformational. It lowers stress, negative thoughts and is a boost to self-esteem.
I first discovered beach glass over 25 years ago while working as an art therapist in a nursing home along the boardwalk in Coney Island. The beautiful smooth shapes and frosted colors of the glass nuggets that had washed up along this Brooklyn shore resembled gemstones and inspired me to create jewelry. Since then, my work has been sold in boutiques, craft galleries, national chains, and museum gift shops, across the country.
The soothing colors, shapes and textures are a great inspiration and I sometimes work for hours on just one glass piece, working the wire not only to secure it, but to bring out its beauty and character. Then I search through my enormous stock of beads in every size, shape and color (including hand blown, vintage, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, semi precious stones, charms and metal) to compliment and further accentuate the unique qualities and appearance of each glass jewel. I love to see a customer’s face light up when they find the one of a kind jewelry item to match and complement their own unique qualities. That is my reward, to be able to share my art and find each pendant, pair of earrings, pin or bracelet the right home.
I first learned about Tell Every Amazing Lady® from Pamela, my neighbor, and founder of T.E.A.L.®. After reading more about T.E.A.L.® on the website and learning that it was founded by both Pamela and her sister, Louisa, who had ovarian cancer and later died from it, I knew I wanted to help. Thus, I began to volunteer from time-to-time in the office, as a workshop leader and a T.E.A.L.® Shop Partner.
I am very impressed with T.E.A.L.®.s mission to not only raise money to sponsor research to find a cure, but to also educate the community about the signs and symptoms of the disease and to support survivors. I am particularly dismayed that there still isn’t an accurate screening test and that so many women are misdiagnosed and worse. We must do better!
I myself was motivated to get a more qualified screening by an ovarian cancer specialist after reading T.E.A.L.®.’s SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS and RISK FACTORS literature. I feel grateful that at this time, although I do have some risk factors, I do not have the disease.”