Saturday, February 13, 2010

Design Selected as the OTO Necklace!!!

first I would like to say...Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

To everyone still waiting...enjoy this one with your sweeties because next year we're all going to either have a babysitter or a little one sitting at our romantic dinner with us! I can't wait :)

(oversized silver charm clasp with gold key, silver lock and black glass beads; final design will replace the "E" with an "OTO" charm; )

I am beyond humbled right now.

Over the past months I've been working with the humanitarian aide division of Gladney (our agency) on various design ideas for one of their new missions, On Their Own.

On Their Own assists in giving young girls living in a Gladney orphanage the opportunity to acquire skills and interests that will assist them in real life once they 'age out' of the system. There are few opportunities for these young women when they reach the very eye-opening reality that they can no longer live under the care of Gladney in the orphanage they know as home. Sad is an understatement. Prostitution is a common transition for the girls, while drug dealing is the boys' alternative to making a living. (Gladney has another program for the older boys which is also under way, with much success to date.)

I am so honored to be a part of this project. I found out today that my design has been selected as the item the girls will be making. In a nutshell, they'll receive all the supplies with my video of how to produce the pieces and personal assistance from a newly placed Gladney intern who is heading to Ethiopia in April. Once produced, necklaces will be marketed to the public with proceeds assisting in creating life skills for these young women.

I've seen and received emails, pictures and videos from these girls. It breaks my heart to see so many beautiful, strong and competant young women with such a positive outlook while knowing what the future holds for them once they celebrate a few more birthdays.

International adoption has changed my life forever.

OTO Mission Statement
To provide meaningful, marketable job and life-skills training
for orphaned and foster care teens in the U.S., Africa, Asia,
Eastern Europe and Latin America in preparation for life
ON THEIR OWN as self-sufficient, safe young adults

...and by the way...I need your help!

If you were to consider buying this necklace, would red beads be more appealing than black? We're starting with only one color. I think the crowd here has pretty good taste and I would love to hear your feedback.
Supplies are being purchased at the end of this week, so if you can let me know by then it would be greatly appreciated.


  1. First of all, how cool is that?? Love the humanitarian aid work that Gladney does.

    I prefer the black, since you are asking. :)

  2. This is amazing! Congratulations - it's wonderful you took this opportunity to help with Gladney's humanitarian aid efforts! That's awesome.

    I prefer black as well.

  3. You rock my friend!! This is so cool. I love the design!!! I would probably prefer black since it is more versatile.
    I am somewhat speechless because I am so blown away by how amazing this is and how talented you are. I can't wait to buy one!

  4. wow! so cool!
    i like the black beads.

  5. AWESOME! Love, love, love it!!!! Good job! :)

  6. That is so fantastic!!! And you know I love it, since I said so when I saw you wearing it before I even knew that you had made it and WHY you were makinig it!!! So wonderful that it has been chosen and what an amazing experience to be involved in something like this!!

  7. What a beautiful necklace and for such an incredible cause! I would buy it with either red or black beads... ;-)

  8. ooops! I'm a lil late... but looks as if my preference for black beads was well represented! ;)

    (we're hoping to be approved by Gladney for an Ethiopian adoption, too! we've just officially begun the process. good luck!)