Where does old jewelry go after it has been put to rest?
If it’s lucky it will go to Mimi and You, a Toronto-based necklace company that uses previously loved jewelry to make new items for their Celebrate Courage initiative.
Celebrate Courage is a series of workshops held by Mimi and You owners, Mitra and Mina Mortazavi. The workshops are held at women’s shelters, where unique necklaces are made, then sold online with a portion of proceeds going to women’s shelters in Canada.
Mitra Mortazavi says the initiative started when she began holding workshops at shelters to teach women jewelry design and develop a creative outlet.
“I saw the transformation in the women from when they went in to when they left,” she says.
The team then began using the necklaces made at the workshops to in turn raise money for the same shelters, through a campaign, called Shelternet (www.shelternet.ca), which provides E-services, a website and training for women suffering from violence at home or who are in shelters. Mortazavi says the E-services provide many resources for women because it can be accessed from anywhere, and information such as how to get out of an abusive relationship and where to go for help can be found simply by using your computer.
The Celebrate Courage (CC) necklaces sell online for $45, with a range of colours and styles available. All are unique and handmade with various beads, ribbon and chains.
The public can participate through workshops, and make their own unique necklace. The cost of the workshop is $20. Participants can purchase their own creation at the end of the class or leave the necklace for someone to buy online.
Mortazavi says there are a lot of regulars who attend the workshops and points out that private workshops can also be arranged.
She says the most important part of the initiative is to raise awareness and stop violence against women.
“Violence is easy to end,” says Mortazavi. “You don’t need to find a cure.”
To find out more about the workshops, donate or shop for necklaces, visit www.mimiandu.com/courage.
• Buy a CC necklace at www.mimiandu.com