This mantra is also the heart of Lucy Farmer’s home-based jewelry line.
Lucy Farmer was working as creative director for Southern Accents Architectural Techniques helping with social media, showing people how to re-purpose vintage doorknobs, keys, old flooring, chandeliers and the like. When she made her first necklace using a chandelier prism, a skeleton key and a leather cord, it was just for fun, and just for herself. But when a friend complimented her on the beautiful piece, she did something unexpected: She took it off and gave it to her.
That random act of kindness had a ripple effect.
“My friend wanted four more necklaces to give as gifts, so I made them, and then she came back and wanted 10 more to give as Christmas presents,” Farmer says. “I started making them over and over again, and I started selling them wholesale to stores and craft shows. Pretty soon, they were coming to me.”
This “Inspire to Give” mantra became the foundation for her home-based jewelry line, Lucy’s Inspired, which she began in October 2015.
“If someone gives you a compliment or shares a story, you can do this to remind them that they’re important,” she says. “Even if you never give it away, wear it as a reminder to yourself that you’re important.”
Sales from three different pieces of Lucy’s Inspired jewelry go to benefit three area nonprofit organizations.
Sales from the Inspire to Give chandelier prism necklace, based on the original design that Farmer had made, benefits the Wellhouse, a local organization that assists victims of sex trafficking. The second and third are Inspire to Give tagged beaded bracelets made in memory of two Birmingham young women who were daughters of Farmer’s close friends. The Gabby bracelet is in memory of Gabriella Maria Menotti, who passed away at age 11 after a lifelong battle with mitochondrial disease.
“Her mom made bracelets, so we talked about how we could put tags on them that said Gabby, so that would give people a chance to talk about her daughter,” she says.
The third tagged bracelet is in honor of Madison McManus, who was lost her life in a car accident at age 16. Sales go to the Birmingham Crisis Center.
“She suffered from depression, so her mother thought that would be an organization that her daughter would have wanted to help,” she says. “Each one comes with a card and a phone number people can call if they need to talk.
“It’s a way for us to remember these girls. Even though they’re not here they will continue to be a blessing to someone.”
Lucy’s Inspired recently collaborated with Andi Andrew, a pastor and author in New York City.
“We reached out to her as an influencer to help us promote Lucy’s Inspired when she wrote her first book, ‘She is Free,’ and we sent her a kit,” Farmer says. “Then she asked if we would help promote her second book, ‘Fake or Follower.’”
Lucy’s Inspired is made up of a staff of only three: herself, full-time jewelry maker Domenga Mateo and customer service assistant and “helper of everything” Jeanine DiCaprio. As Lucy’s Inspired continues to spread its message, eventually she may have to hire more staff and expand, but Farmer is taking it one day at a time.
“It’s more about the message than the jewelry,” Farmer says. “That is the best part of this and really where my passion is.”