Ethical Canadian fine Christian jewelry company aims to care for those in need

https://www.compassion.ca/blog/ethical-canadian-jewelry-company-aims-to-care-for-those-in-need/

 

I had the honor of being featured in Compassion Canada's February 2021 blog. The article describes how in 2019 God's movement in my life brought about the creation of Delaney Rose Jewelry.

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In the mountain-hedged city of Calgary, Alberta, Robin sat in her cubicle looking out at the skyline—the jagged shadows of the mountain’s edges entrancing her as she thought about her plan B. It was 2014, and the oil and gas industry that Robin had spent her days working in for the past 20 years was in a downturn. It was time to start considering a new adventure. A new career path and a new identity.

Perhaps, she thought, I’ll trade in gas for gold.

A view of downtown Calgary, Alberta.

Robin’s hometown of Calgary, Alberta.

“I looked into a bunch of different options, like ceramics, painting and glassblowing, but ultimately decided that since I loved jewelry so much, becoming a jewelry designer would make a wonderful plan B,” says Robin.

For the next three years, Robin spent her evenings in the classrooms of Alberta University of the Arts, learning the ins and outs of jewelry and metalsmithing, earning her certificate in 2018. And as if raising two young kids on top of pursuing an education was not enough on her plate, Robin decided to put her new-found skills to the test, running her very first jewelry business.

“I opened my first jewelry business, Lily Moon Jewelry, after getting started on my evening courses at university. It was a cute little shop with some sterling silver pieces that I handmade. I had no real goal or purpose for this business except to make money and quit my day job.”

Robin sketching her designs in a notebook

But as her skills grew alongside her blooming company, something didn’t feel quite right. For Robin, something was missing.

“God was not a big part of Lily Moon Jewelry, because, at that time, God was not a big part of me, even though I had been a Christian all my life.”

A new identity and business blossoms

As God started to breathe new life into her faith, Robin started to feel a shift in her calling. Though she had stepped into a new unknown adventure in her career, she started to sense God planting new dreams inside her heart again—dreams that would combine her love for creativity, for Jesus and for the marginalized.

In 2019, Robin decided to shut the doors of her first passion project and launch Delaney Rose Jewelry—a company that would more accurately represent the overflow of her heart.

“With Delaney Rose Jewelry, God is the heart and soul of it, because He is front and centre in my life. The difference in my approach with Delaney Rose Jewelry is a direct reflection of my spiritual growth. I created this company to glorify God, to encourage other Christian women into a deeper relationship with Jesus and to give back to those in need,” Robin says.

From the company name—chosen to honour both Robin and her husband’s faith-filled grandmothers—all the way down to the ethical way materials are sourced, Robin’s passion for her faith is easily recognized in the fingerprints of the new venture.

Gems that give back

 Robin is razor-focused on her new company’s commitment to generosity even amidst a global pandemic. A total of 25% of each jewelry purchase goes straight to Christian charities.

Ten per cent of each purchase goes to Compassion Canada’s Safe Water and Sanitation Initiatives, 10 per cent to The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and their work in disaster relief, prison ministries and ending human trafficking and the last five per cent to a charity decided on each month by her customers through social media.

Purple, red and white jewelry boxes displaying earrings and necklaces.

For Robin, dedicating a part of her company to Compassion was a no-brainer.

 “I absolutely love all the work Compassion does and truly believe in what is being accomplished. Water is an essential part of our lives and having access to clean drinking water is fundamental to a community’s success. Specifically, with [Compassion’s safe water initiatives] there are ongoing programs that help the community keep the water well operating properly,” Robin shares.

 On top of her heart for Compassion’s safe water initiatives, Robin and her family deeply value their relationship with their two sponsored children—a relationship that blossomed from a Compassion alumna.

“I first heard about Compassion through my church. In 2019, we had a guest speaker come in from the Philippines who had been a sponsored child herself. She came to our church with Compassion and shared her story. We were so moved by her story that we decided to sponsor two children.”

Ethical sourcing and recycling as honouring God

Another pillar on which Delany Rose Jewelry boldly stands is their commitment to ethical sourcing. This means partnering exclusively with companies that follow government-regulated standards and laws, especially around child labour, human trafficking, slavery, fair wage, equal opportunity and environmental stewardship. This is a tightly held conviction that Robin traces back to the Garden of Eden.

Close up of a necklace that says "Hope"

“I believe that we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation. We are told in Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 to subdue, have dominion over, tend to, guard and keep the earth—to use earth’s vast resources in the service of God and man. I believe as Christians, we need to be aware of what we purchase and understand where and how the goods we consume are made,” says Robin.

Handmaking 98 per cent of her jewelry and sourcing the other 2 per cent from the United States, Robin knows exactly where the labour is coming from.

“Casting [of the jewelry] is done in Montreal, and wherever possible, the gold and silver metal is recycled. All of the diamonds are marked Canadian diamonds. This ensures that not only is the diamond mined in Canada under our strict labour and environmental laws, but they are also cut here in Canada too.”

And though sourcing ethically proves to require more sacrifices when it comes to timing and costs, for Robin, it is priceless.

Robin at her workbench using tools to make a key necklace

“It’s more expensive and time-consuming to work this way, but it’s worth every penny and minute. I know these are values that my customers share with me.”

As Robin continues to dive in headfirst into this new venture, she is confident God will continue to guide her steps, even in the midst of a pandemic.

“The pandemic has turned into a blessing for my business. I was 3 weeks away from launching my company when everything in the world shut down. It was a bit scary at first for sure, but God is good! God knew the pandemic would happen and He still called me to this work.”

A picture of robin smiling at the camera as she sketches in her notebook