We had the good fortune of connecting with Eliza Friedman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eliza, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We wanted to create something special and unique for the fundraising community, to help the non-profit organizations raise additional dollars for their causes, while adding beauty and excitement to their silent auction.
I’ve always enjoyed fashion and design and it’s a blessing to pair the two with my passion for helping others. From our very beginning, when we started in 2005, our drive and mission have been to provide our collection exclusively and directly to the non-profit community. Rather than going the traditional retail route, we decided to pass the middleman commissions and profits onto the wonderful causes that we support. So far, we’ve had the pleasure of supporting over 550 organizations and raised nearly $3 million in net proceeds. Our website has a full list of these non-profit organizations. New organizations reach out to us daily, especially during the current situation, when donated items have been harder to come by.
The community and the patrons love our mission and they greatly admire the fact that our collection can only be acquired at virtual or in-person fundraising events and that we don’t make any of our items available for purchase. Our jewelry is a fantastic addition to all auctions, whether it’s a virtual or an in-person event! We incorporate classic European elements into our designs. All of our jewelry is made of 925 Sterling Silver and the highest quality zirconium – a great alternative to precious stones, which patrons love to acquire for everyday wear, gifts and for travel jewelry. It’s no wonder these jewels get spirited bidding at auctions thought the country! Our jewelry is both stunning and versatile. Our pieces become stunning accessories to a casual outfit or an evening gown! The signature packaging is designed specifically for the fundraising community, carrying our mission of “generosity, philanthropy and compassion”, beautifully embossed in gold foil on the attractive tangerine and fuchsia boxes. Our beautiful display brings a warm and inviting pop of color to any silent auction. The mainstream pricing is inclusive, making it possible for everyone to participate in the silent auction, raffle or Jewelry Pull, regardless of budget. The attractive pricing and the high quality are a phenomenal combination, making it a no-brainer for any non-profit organization to generate more revenue during their fundraising events.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel very blessed that my passion has become my work and I can’t imagine doing anything else! But like with any business, we’ve had our share of challenges at times, during the 16 years we’ve been in business. The most significant one is getting our message across. You see, all organizations are looking for item donations from traditional businesses, expecting 100%. Helping them to separate us from a traditional jewelry vendor has been somewhat difficult, because they don’t initially realize that we don’t have a retail business (by choice). But once they have a conversation with us and understand that we design and manufacture our own jewelry specifically to help the fundraising community, rather than retailing and making significant profits, they are very excited to work with us. Once they realize that what we offer is a no-brainer for them, we become their favorite consignment vendor for years and years and they rely on us greatly with their auctions.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
“Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve” is undoubtedly one on my most favorite spots in San Diego! I love the outdoors and I enjoy the hike. Getting in touch with nature helps me unwind after a busy week or week-end of fundraising (as I work around the clock and I love every bit of it!). The natural beauty of nature inspires me greatly with my design. The bright blue sky gives me great perspective, while the infinite ocean reminds me that possibilities are unlimited when you follow your heart and pursue what you love, no matter the challenges.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We attribute our success and growth to the fundraising community who has been incredibly kind, supportive and continuously share our mission with organizations throughout the country. We feel very blessed to have established reciprocal relationships with amazing auctioneers, event planners, auction platforms. This not only spreads the word about us as a company, but it enables us to offer the best resources to those organizations that are looking for us and don’t yet know that we are possible!
To review, Jewels With A Purpose is a very unique company. We don’t retail any of our items. Instead, we offer our jewelry collection as a very lucrative fundraising tool, to support the non-profit community. The stunning pieces we offer can only be acquired at silent auctions, hosted by charitable organizations, throughout the United States!
To learn more about the wonderful mission of “generosity, philanthropy and compassion” or to request items for your upcoming auction, go to: Jewelswithapurpose.com or call Eliza directly at : (678) 641-2631.