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KR Jewelry's #FridayFallFundraisers

posted by The Princess Shop    |   November 25, 2020 19:19

Those of you who follow us on Instagram know that KR Jewelry has been running the #FallFridayFundraiser in support of The Princess Shop since September 18th, 2020. The hashtag really explains most of it - each Friday, Karen Robson, owner, jewelry-maker extraordinaire, and past Princess Shop Executive Director, posts a new piece that people can bid on all day in her Instagram comments. 100% of the auction sale is donated to our organization and if Karen's commitment to The Princess Shop wasn't magical enough, her jewelry featuring gemstones such as Rainbow Moonstone, Labradorite, Pyrite, Onyx, and so much more take the cake. So far, the auction fundraiser has raised $1126.00 with one week left! We (virtually) interviewed her to feature the business that has been giving back since it was formed and running this specific fundraiser for three years now!

 All photos from KR Jewelry's Instagram.

All photos are from KR Jewelry's Instagram.


The Princess Shop has been shortened to TPS in the following questions:

 

TPS: Tell us more about the KR Jewelry brand  - what inspired you to start making jewelry?

Karen: It started as a gift in 2011! I had a budgie named Tookey who would drop beautiful feathers and my mom commented how they would make beautiful earrings. Knowing that she loved earrings and that Mothers’ Day was coming up, I quietly gathered feathers until I had a nice pair, searched up a video tutorial, went to the craft store and back home, and immediately made a pair of earrings. I had so much fun (and my mom loved them), that I started to take apart whatever jewelry I had and started making new pieces. I was hooked! From there I continued to make jewelry as gifts or donations, and did that for 3.5 years until I decided I wanted to market my jewelry.

So it started with a gift, continued with giving – that is a major part of the KR Jewelry brand, and what it was founded upon. Selling it only provides me more opportunities to continue to give (I have never said no to a raffle/auction) and support our community and the volunteers/staff that are pouring so much into it.

 

TPS: How does #FridayFallFundraiser fit into your mission?

Karen: While I haven’t coined a phrase for a mission, I know that I want to make jewelry because it is a creative outlet, and that because it has the power to make a positive impact. 

I started #FridayFallFundraiser in 2018 because I wanted to initiate my own fundraiser. While I will always donate to raffles and auctions, I had an itch to take initiative and be a leader in the business community by creating my own fundraiser. I did not want to sit and wait to be asked to contribute to something, I wanted to do something myself. 

 

TPS: What’s your creative process like? It felt like that first giveaway piece you made to kick off the fundraiser was designed so perfectly for TPS!

Karen: I am completely inspired by the materials. The gemstones, the textures, the shine… the shapes. It is kind of hard to explain, but I like to figure out new ways to put all these materials together in a way that is unique, one-of-a-kind, and beautiful! Some have described my pieces as “from another time” which I really love.

 

 

TPS: What’s the importance of businesses like yours continuing to donate and fundraise on behalf of charitable organizations, especially in these uncertain times?

Karen: Having worked in Community for so long outside of the jewelry business, I saw firsthand how challenging it can be to fundraise, even in non-pandemic times. With a community full of many worthy nonprofits and charities, fundraising has to be creative even in a regular year. I also simply and truly believe in the concept of Community - taking care of one another, looking out for one another, and reaching out to offer a helping hand - and businesses like KR Jewelry benefit from a strong community, so it is in a way giving back.

2020 has been tough on fundraising, but 2021 might be even worse as the organizations that provide funding will likely be looking at reduced budgets for philanthropy and sponsorship. So now, more than ever, it is so important to support our nonprofit organizations that really do provide vibrancy to our community - something we all benefit from! I encourage and welcome any small creative business to take the #FridayFallFundraiser model, pick an organization to support, and get fundraising with their following - that is an amazing gift to the community.

 

TPS: How can people best support both KR Jewelry and The Princess Shop during this pandemic, even if they can’t afford to purchase items or donate?

Karen: Both of us are quite active on social media, so following, liking, commenting, sharing (this one especially), to help spread the word. And not even just on social media. Be a vocal advocate in your day-to-day life with coworkers and friends – tell them about The Princess Shop. The more people know about organizations like The Princess Shop, the quicker they will be able to step up and support when they can, because they are keeping their community front of mind. I believe that it is not just up to non-profit organizations to spread their own word and gain awareness, I believe it should be a community effort. I urge citizens to meet community organizations half way, pay attention to the amazing initiatives and programs happening right here in our backyard, learn about them, get involved if you can, and simply be a community advocate.

 

TPS: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to businesses and non-profits during this time of covid-19?

Karen: This is not the time to dwell on what once was, or wait on things to return to “normal”... even as we establish the “new normal”. I’ve watched businesses adapt with a growth mindset and those businesses have been successful. I have also seen some businesses that took this time to work on wish-list items (e.g. renovations, restructuring) to improve their current offering or customer experience, and they were able to because they had saved financially. There is a lot to learn from that as well.

 

Thank you Karen, for all that you do for the community! KR Jewelry can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

MMIWG - Red Dress Day May 5, 2019

posted by The Princess Shop    |   May 5, 2019 10:48

Today, May 5th, is a day to recognize and honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across our nation. It is Red Dress Day.

At the 12th Annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses presented by K+S Potash Canada on April 10, 2019, not only did we celebrate our success and positive impact on the community, but we took the opportunity to address this national tragedy. 

For the past number of years, we have hung chandeliers of dresses donated by generous community members as a unique way to provide aesthetic and appeal to the room. This is something no other organization can accomplish with such meaning, as each dress is indeed #morethanadress.

This year, our Executive Director Karen Robson wanted to use that room centerpiece to bring attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, due to the connection The Princess Shop has with Indigenous populations beyond providing our programs and services on Treaty 6 Territory. So we hung a red dress in the center of the chandelier that hung over the stage in the middle of the room.

During her speech, Karen took a moment and a deep breath to deliver this message:

“This red dress is to honour the women and girls who do not get to reach the milestone of graduation, celebrate their accomplishments, and continue to pursue success due to systemic violence and the national tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

This is important to us because over the past decade, 74% of our Princess Graduates have self-identified as Indigenous and have represented 57 First Nations Communities in Saskatchewan. Knowing this, we ask you to give your attention to the challenges that Indigenous women and youth face – there are many. 

The mandate of the national inquiry also highlights the interconnectedness of all forms of violence and trauma Indigenous women and girls suffer from at an alarmingly high rate. According to several advocates, there are over 4,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. That is too many families that don’t get to celebrate the accomplishments of their daughters, sisters, and mothers.

At The Princess Shop, we know that addressing these systemic issues includes us and is much bigger than us. Our work, as you will see here tonight, continues to positively impact indigenous women and students on graduation day and beyond.”

The national inquiry is set to conclude on June 30, 2019, but this is just the beginning. The stories will still need to be shared, and advocacy and action to improve systems to provide inclusivity but also respect culture will require continued support. 

At The Princess Shop, we encourage our community to learn about these issues, and be a voice to support organizations and individuals. Here are a few websites to start:

National Inqiuiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Native Women's Association of Canada

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

The REDress Project by Jaime Black

 

 

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The Princess Shop's 2019 Bucket-List

posted by The Princess Shop    |   February 25, 2019 19:55

Res·o·lu·tion

/,rezǝ’looSH(ǝ)n/

A firm decision to do or not to do something. 

Most people's January to-do lists mention the idea of a New Year's Resolution. They might work hard on these ideas throughout the year, meet some, change some, or just put them off for the following year's list. This word "resolution", however, is so set on the idea of being able to firmly commit to something and for that idea to then just magically come true. We all want that "law of attraction" to be real, but there's more to it than just that. By this point in the year, most people have come to this conclusion already. We need to work on our goals with a plan of action in place and the proper support systems helping us out. We have many magical ideas that we're always dreaming up, but their ability to actualize depends on so many factors, such that perhaps they fall into a category of their own; a bucket-list of sorts. At the end of 2018, one of the activities The Princess Shop volunteer team went through was drafting up a bucket-list of our own:

Heidi's Bucket List:

  1. Broad awareness about The Princess Shop - it's more than just a dress. It's true! Our Next Chapter and Fairy Godmother programs offer so many life-changing opportunities!
  2. Every graduate should know The Princess Shop is an option and that they don’t need to struggle alone. 
  3. The Fairy Godmother Program could gain more matches that sustain into the future. 
  4. There should be more applicants to all scholarship opportunities as well as a greater variety of scholarships to give out!
  5. The Princess Shop should have a larger volunteer team

Bailey:

  1. Recruit a full team of volunteers by April. 
  2. Record the number of graduates every year. 
  3. Have more rural graduates in the program.

Sarah:

  1. Have more graduates than in 2018. 
  2. Fill all volunteer positions.
  3. Reach goals for the 12th Annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses.
  4. Dream up and organize more fundraising events with a greater turnout.
  5. Have volunteers put in more cumulative hours.

These goals of ours may not be met just by us wishing them into existence, but with continuous action, we hope to see them born into reality. On top of these ideas and our plans, we have a wonderful support system that acts as the final piece of the puzzle working towards The Princess Shop's success - that's you! This all happens because of the people upholding a commitment to this journey with us; volunteers, sponsors, alumni, and everyone working hard for The Princess Shop's success creates an environment of growth and constant improvement. These thoughts are echoed in the volunteers’ bucket-list wishes when they recognize the need for more volunteers and funds - essentially, the need for even more assistance. Many hands indeed make light work and the greater our community, the better!

It is with these goals in mind and with gratitude for the support we receive in our hearts that we move forward into this year. We hope to create some magical memories this year.

The Princess Shop Sponsors
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The Princess Shop
our location
12 - 1622 Ontario Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S8
t: 306-222-3311

Kelsey Murphy, Executive Director

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