Project Have Hope: Fashion With A Purpose
One of the definitions of hope
is something that gives promise for the future.
Do you know about Project Have Hope? This jewelry line was started by Karen Sparacio in 2006, while she was volunteering in Uganda. She became enthralled with the colorful beads and the stories of the women who made them and began bringing the beads back to the United States. She believed that if the women had more funding for education, they could better support themselves. The beads are made out of shredded magazines and calendars and then varnished for added sheen. Initially, the jewelry was the basic earth tone colors. Over the years, the pieces began to get more colorful, and the styles of necklaces, bracelets and anklets became more elaborate. They put seed beads with the paper beads, adding a silver tag engraved “have hope”. They also recycled coins no longer in circulation into the jewelry by making necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
Another phase of the project included the women of Uganda going to tailoring school and creating belts, knapsacks and other articles of clothing. As sales of the women’s beads increased, they were given loans which allowed them to repair their homes.
Others were also given loans to start businesses like raising chickens or pigs.
A dream without a plan is just a wish. It went from a dream to a belief and was achieved, all because of Karen’s vision.
With hope, everything is possible.
Kay Snelling opened Gecko Fashions, a dress & jewelry boutique on Main Street in Newark, in May of 2006. With Kay’s business-savvy expertise and friendly personality, she has created a name for Gecko in downtown Newark and enjoys working with all of her customers.
“When it comes to shopping for a new outfit for a special occasion or just for some retail therapy, I now skip the mall and instead take a trip over to Gecko Fashions. Not only is Gecko in a perfect location within walking distance of my apartment, but I always leave satisfied and completely obsessed with my purchases. Instead of spending hours aimlessly walking around the mall frustrated with my lack of success, Kay and the other employees are always there to give me their expert advice and find just what I’m looking for. Gecko’s clothes are not only fashionable, but I can trust that they are good quality as well as within my price range. Its warm, welcoming environment paired with the most up-to-date fashions makes Gecko my go-to one-stop shop!” ~ Cassie K.