Treating yourself (or your besties or your loved ones) to some gorgeous jewelry is always fantastic. But knowing that you can buy stunning pieces from a local business and a portion of the proceeds goes to charities around the city? Priceless. And that's where Mahé Jewelry comes in.
Sisters Lydia and Karine Mellata started the company from their love of jewelry and giving charity, and knew that others in the city would share that passion. Especially in times like these.
We reached out to the sisters to find out more about this amazing idea.
What made you both decide to start this initiative?
We are two sisters that always wanted to start a creative project together but also wanted to find a way to give back during the pandemic. We had been donating to charities, participating in volunteering, and tried to stay up-to-date with local and international issues but we still felt like there was more we could do.
Obviously, during a time of uncertainty such as a global pandemic, we had plenty of time to wonder and think — how can we help in a more meaningful way? Being exposed to bad news constantly and every day, we felt like it was now or never. This is how we had the idea to build something that kind of resembles elementary school fundraisings.
We love jewelry and we knew that if we could sell gorgeous, affordable, and quality jewelry, we would be able to bring awareness to issues that touched us deeply while doing what we love — designing jewelry.
We know that people don't always have the time to stay up-to-date with all the issues affecting their communities, or sometimes have a hard time knowing how to help. By researching issues and charities, and partnering with them, we hope to make this process more organic.
Hopefully, we can sell quality jewelry so that even people that have never donated in their lives will do so for the first time, in a creative way.
Where do you source your jewelry from?
Our sterling silver and gold suppliers are based in Asia and a part of the assembling is done here from our home in Montreal! We are partnered with certified gold and sterling silver suppliers that follow strict international rules of inspection.
Our supplier companies are also on the smaller size — we always communicate with the people that directly work on our materials. We're also working on having 100% sterling silver collections, with materials sourced from Canada!
How do you pick your charities?
Each month, we try to stay as up-to-date as possible with local and international issues — the same way we have personally been doing for the past years. For example, throughout the year, we tracked our personal donations (both money and time) and we noticed that they went to a multitude of different charities based on crises going on around the world. We tried to replicate this in our initiative.
We try to stay up-to-date with what is happening in Quebec and will try to give to the charities that will be most in-demand this month. We really want our customers to feel like they are helping, in their own small way, an issue that they are seeing unfold in front of their eyes.
A lot of misfortunes happened this month with the ongoing pandemic and the creation of a curfew, and we really felt like one of the most affected populations was the homeless.
With [Legault's] announcement that people without a fixed residence would still have to abide by the curfew laws, many organizations warned the government that the shelters would overflow. We felt like this issue was alarming and our donations should go towards an organization working closely with the homeless population.
This is why we partnered with Dans La Rue, an amazing organization that allows youth in situations of homelessness, or youth in difficult situations, to be able to have access to food, shelter, psychological help, and much more.
We know this method is not foolproof as, especially during a global pandemic, there are a million alarming issues, both locally and internationally. This is why we are trying to "rotate" the charities and, in addition to donating money, we hope to be able to also bring attention and awareness to pressing issues that our customers may not have heard of.