When Gloria Van Arsdale couldn’t find the special ring she was looking for, she decided to learn how to make one herself. Now the Colorado-based jewelry designer operates kavalis.com, producing pendants, lockets, bracelets, earrings, charms, fitness tracker badges and more, and partners with charities to help raise money for their organizations. This month, Van Arsdale’s personalized jewelry company, is pledging 30 percent of sales to benefit the Vasculitis Foundation. (Vasculitis is a rare condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels and can lead to serious health problems.)
We caught up with the designer for more information on her fundraising efforts.
Why did you launch kavalis.com?
“When my oldest daughter was graduating from college, I searched for that unique gift to capture both my pride and the moment forever, but my choices were limited. I was focused on the hope that her graduation ring was going to be as special as the story it told. With a vision and ideas not available in retail stores, I taught myself CAD design and after six months created a one-of-a-kind graduation ring, unique and precious just like my daughter. The sparkle and joy I saw in my daughter’s eyes upon receiving her graduation jewelry was a feeling I wanted to share with others which is what inspired the start of the company. I had found my passio—and that was to create meaningful jewelry that creates memories and stories to share and be passed to other generations. Charity is another source of brand inspiration and I have donated one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces to different charitable organizations to support their fundraising efforts.”
Is your jewelry created specifically for the charity you are partnering with?
“The original idea was to create jewelry only for the charities that I would partner with, but I quickly found that was too limited and people wanted to have more choices if they were going to be repeat customers. … In terms of creating jewelry specifically for the charity I am partnering with, it is really on a case-by-case basis and I am always open to suggestions and ideas. I love designing unique pieces, so I welcome exclusive jewelry requests for the right causes. On my recent venture with the creation of the Ilya Peckerman Vascultitis Teaching Fellowship Program, in partnership with The Vasculitis Foundation, we worked together to create custom themed pieces dedicated to the holiday season that speak to the vasculitis community.”
What made you choose the Vasculitis Foundation for the month of December?
“I recently attended a conference in New York for jewelry designers and one of the panelists was Pamela Pekerman, a fashion and lifestyle expert who was wearing a Vasculitis advocate T-shirt. My niece was diagnosed with the rare disease when she was 9 years old after she suffered a stroke. … After the conference, I approached Pamela and told her about my niece and how I would like to partner with the Vasculitis Foundation to create awareness and raise funds. It just so happened that Pamela had recently been appointed to the board of directors and was working on an upcoming holiday shopping charity campaign. Pamela and I worked together to design the jewelry and she came up with the ‘I’m rare—I’m unique’ slogan, that we are currently featuring. Kavalis.com donates 30 percent of sales of the #shop4Vascultis campaign to the Vasculitis Foundation, specifically to help support the creation and long-term funding of the Ilya Peckerman Vasculitis Teaching Fellowship Program.”
Will you partner with other charity organizations in the coming months?
“Absolutely! Kavalis.com’s mission is to create unique high-quality jewelry proudly made in the U.S. and to partner with select charities that we will support by donating a percentage of sales to their cause. You will definitely see more partnerships, probably on a quarterly basis to allow us to do the most good.