It all began last year when my beautiful friend Tazz asked us to join her for an evening out and come and support G.R.I.T. for their 9th Annual Gala. Not knowing much about the organization other than Celyne, Tazz's daughter, was a part of it and it was helping her, I agreed. Like any good friend, you are there to support as much as you can and where you can. As the March date rolled around and not knowing what to expect, I arrived and first thing I saw was my friend in tears. Rushing over to console her, I soon realized that her tears were of love and joy, and tears of trials and tribulations all balled into one moment. I couldn't help but start the water works as well as I looked at her, looked around and took it all in. It hit me-that I walked in to a room that was purely magical. What I heard and what I saw instantly made my heart melt. Everything was beautiful and touching from the stories shared, the team at the G.R.I.T. to G.R.I.T. Alumni who hosted the live auction, to the pictures on the wall of the children currently attending, to the awesome seeing eye dog who was the canine celebrity. As we walked around, mingled, familiarized ourselves with faces, and placed our bids on what we wanted to win our daughter on the silent auction items, the night unfolded and the live auction proceeded. I knew my "deeper pockets" had to come out. The gentleman announced a stunning glass blown vase that the children had made and it's starting bid and I had to have one. And let me tell you that it is oh so beautiful!
After winning the vase, the auction was over and I knew at that moment I had to get involved in some way. If the children can do this art, they can do pretty much anything I thought. I went home, got the idea of Fortunista whirling around, pitched it to my mother because I knew that she would love to be my partner in crime with this project and the following week I called up GRIT and met with them.
The concept took nearly 6 months to get off the ground. In the later part of November, BG and G.R.I.T. began selling the necklaces for the 2014 Christmas season, which became an instant hit. Fortunistas were sold out by Christmas! The New Year hit, and the lovely team at G.R.I.T. asked BeautyGram to take part in their 10th Annual Gala. Clearly, I was over the moon. We sat down to collaborate on ideas for the Gala evening, how we wanted to create an exclusive limited edition word and mission statement for the necklace along with the limited run of necklaces produced for that evening. Very shortly we agreed a word and a mission statement which can resinate with each and every one of us.
"Journey-Every child, every family, every person has their own journey. Thank you for being part of our journey."~G.R.I.T.
Once decisions were made, the children worked diligently to get these "journey" tags completed with their aids, and BeautyGram-especially Margaret-worked her ass off to assemble every necklace impeccably. A week before the Gala, we got word that our wonderful partners at Diverse Equities wanted to donate 2 solid gold Fortunistas, one in yellow gold and one in white gold, that live auctioned for over $1000 each. The catch was who ever won these art pieces got to choose which child would stamp their necklace and the choice of any word they wish to have stamped on the tag. Collectively, BeautyGram and Diverse Equities raised over $3500 that evening alone and that is something we are so proud of. To say that Journey was a hit would be an understatement and how well received the Fortunistas were was incredible. The night was definitely one to remember and an honour to be a part of. Everything was stunning and touching once again and it took me back to the heartwarming evening had by all last year. To be able to share the beauty of what the children produce and showcase how imperfectly perfect these necklaces are is a true gift. Myself and BeautyGram feel so grateful to call ourselves partners with G.R.I.T. and want to express our outmost gratitude for letting us join this fascinating journey!
We continue to raise awareness and funds for G.R.I.T. through our sales of the Fortunista Necklace and have set up a REWARDS campaign for this cause.
A special "Thank you" goes out to Margaret for all your amazing work and to all the children who make beauty happen everyday and to GRIT and our awesome customers for all your support. You are the best! Have a beautiful day! XO