BY ANDREAS YILMA
PROSPECT — A mother and daughter small handcrafted jewelry business has made its way from a small Connecticut town to Hollywood where it has been worn in movies and TV shows.
Sandy D’Andrea began the handcrafted jewelry business in 2009 as she helped to take care of her mother. When she stopped working at that time, she began to make jewelry and gave it to the hospice nurses in the house. Soon after, she started to sell the jewelry and donate a portion to charity.
When D’Andrea’s daughter, Stevie Lynn D’Andrea came home from studying marketing at the Fashion of Institute of Technology in New York City, she told her mother that she could market it. Sandy D’Andrea taught her how to make the jewelry and Stevie D’Andrea taught her how to use social media. Stevie D’Andrea bought the company, Jewels for Hope, from her mother a couple of years ago
“The nurses helped me so much, I couldn’t do things that they did,” Sandy D’Andrea said. “So I wanted to thank them but I didn’t have any money because I stopped working. So I started and that helped me to keep my mind going.”
The handcrafted jewelry, which includes bracelets, necklaces, earrings and gem stones has been available in over 150 stores in the country including Christmas Tree Shop, Funky Hippie in Stamford, Soulbury Cultural Gifts Store in Woodbury and Nutmeg Handcrafted in Watertown.
The jewelry has been worn by actors in movies and TV shows such as “Law & Order SVU,” “Bones,” “Firefly Lane,” “Princess Switch 3,” “Jane The Virgin” and “Signed Sealed amd Delivered.”
The jewelry first made its way to the big screen with some help. The mother and daughter have been part of a group called The Artistan Group, a collection of women-owned businesses that sell hand-crafted items, where Stevie D’Andrea serves as one of the administrators.
“We basically are bringing handcrafted to Hollywood, showing everyone how great these small businesses are and it’s a juried group so you have to be accepted into it and we were really lucky,” Stevie D’Andrea said. “We’ve been in this group since 2011 and through this group we have opportunities to show our jewelry off to the stylist of different TV shows and movies.”
Stevie D’Andrea said a stylist has to approve jewelry before it is placed on a TV show, so there are no guarantees it will be used.
Actor Will Kemp, who has been featured in many Hallmark movies on TV, has worn the small company’s bracelets since 2015 and had stylists purchase jewelry to wear on his TV shows.
The handcrafted jewelry has made its way to about three or four different Netflix shows or movies including “Fuller House.”
In total, the jewelry has been used 45 times on about 20 different shows, Stevie D’Andrea said.
In addition to movies and shows, country music singer Rodney Atkins has worn their black lava stone bracelets.I could help with this and I never would’ve thought I would be working with my mother,” Stevie D’Andrea said. “It was the best thing ever.”
Over the years they have perfected how much and to diversify who to donate to. The business now has 30 different donations for 30 different charities where 10% of profits are given, Stevie D’Andrea said.