By Ashley Davis
Messaging from the #Linked campaign benefiting No Kid Hungry is shown alongside jewelry from two participating brands, Arman Sarkisyan (left) and Colette.
New York—At a time when many stores are closed and jewelry brands face economic uncertainties due to the coronavirus, a group of designers is focusing on ways to help those most in need.

Currently, 84 jewelry brands—and growing—are donating a portion of their sales to No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit dedicated to providing children and families with three meals a day.

Per the organization’s website, in a time of crisis, its work entails providing emergency grants to food banks and community groups, communicating how families can access meals while schools are closed and lobbying for Congress to pass emergency funds that benefit low-income families.

20200317 NoKidHungry 1Melissa Kaye is donating 30 percent of online sales in the month of March to No Kid Hungry. Pictured are her Reversible Lola Needle pendants, with diamonds on one side and enamel on the other.

Each participating brand is advertising on its social media channels, using the hashtag #Linked. 

The idea for the #Linked campaign grew out of a conversation between two fine jewelry publicists, Danielle Gadi, owner of her eponymous public relations firm, and Brielle Forman, associate director at IHPR.

“We were talking and realized we needed to do something,” Gadi told National Jeweler. “We decided that helping children who were going to be affected by all of these school closures was the best place to focus our efforts.”

With IHPR owner Jen Lowitz on board, last Saturday the three introduced the idea to their respective clients.

20200317 NoKidHungry 5A customized pendant from Ariel Gordon Jewelry, one of the brands supporting No Kid Hungry.

They left the percentage of proceeds of sales to donate, as well as the donation time frame, up to each brand.

“We didn’t want to set any boundaries,” Lowitz explained. “That tends to keep people from getting on board. The informality of it is what helped people to move so quickly. Without set donation guidelines it just made it easier for people to get involved in any way they could.”

Some designers are donating 15 percent of proceeds, others 30 percent, and for varying time periods, anywhere from a week to the end of the month to when schools reopen in a particular designer’s area.

20200317 NoKidHungry 7Pendants from #Linked participant Retrouvai.

Gadi, Forman and Lowitz spread the word about the #Linked campaign to other showrooms, publicists and designers with whom they had relationships and the word began to spread, as it tends to, via social media.

Adina Reyter, Anita Ko, Ariel Gordon Jewelry, Arman Sarkisyan, Brent Neale, Colette, Dana Bronfman, Irene Neuwirth, Jacquie Aiche, KatKim, Marlo Laz, Melissa Kaye, Michelle Fantaci, Retrouvai, Nouvel Heritage, Santo by Zani and Zoe Chicco are just some of the brands involved.  

“We have the ability to reach out to this incredibly supportive community all at once and it’s a quick way to mobilize people,” said Lowitz of the Instagram snowball effect.

Forman said, “It was a call to action to get people together. I think as more designers started posting other designers would see and reach out to us.”

In a few short days the number of brands participating grew from a handful to nearly 100, truly representing how “linked” the jewelry community is.

20200317 NoKidHungry 6Many designers, like Brent Winston of Brent Neale, whose gypsy rings are pictured here, have made personal donations to No Kid Hungry in addition to donating proceeds of sales.

With most people hunkered down at home, #Linked was a project that resonated with designers, just as it hit home for the creators.

“As a parent watching all of this unfold and realizing the uncertainty [caused by coronavirus] for so many parents and kids was what really compelled us to use what we’ve got,” which was relationships and the ability to spread a message, Lowitz said.

Gadi said she worried about the impact of coronavirus on her own clients with children, as well parents all over the world who are without resources like food or childcare.

Focusing on how the jewelry world so easily connects for a good cause has provided some solace in uncertain times for the designers and companies involved.

20200317 NoKidHungry 3Nouvel Heritage is one of the 84 brands participating in the #Linked campaign.

Lowitz said, “The upside of this is the jewelry community is so responsive and supportive and it doesn’t feel competitive. Everyone was motivated by one another; there was really no bullshit between PR agencies or brands or showrooms. Everyone wants to get involved.”

Gadi, Forman and Lowitz now face a larger project than they anticipated, as designers continue to jump on board, but are looking forward to sustaining the effort of shopping for good.

“It’s not a one-time thing,” Forman explained. “We’re encouraging designers to keep posting to spread the message.”

20200317 NoKidHungry 2Has a Santo by Zani folding pendant been on your jewelry bucket list? Now is the time to buy, when a portion of proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry.

“And if it can help our designers [gain sales] too, then it’s a win/win,” added Lowitz.

The sense of community #Linked is fostering is giving everyone involved hope for the future.  

“Everybody is going to feel isolated,” said Lowitz. “Everyone is going to feel a little bit helpless. This is a connected community and this is a way for people to be able to help.”

“It’s the first time we’re all experiencing the same thing worldwide,” said Gadi. “We’re all in this together.”

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