By: Mary Fran Bontempo


Okay, how fabulous are these?

According to the calendar, although not the 22 degree temperature we were cursed with here in Philadelphia yesterday, spring is almost here. And what better way to celebrate the colors of the season than with bright, beautiful, awesome jewelry? (Actually, what better way to celebrate anything than with jewelry? But I digress….)

Costume jewelry is my weakness. I love it, I covet it, and I have way too much of it. WAIT! What am I saying?!!! You can never have too much jewelry.

But my addiction can get a bit pricey, not to mention seem a little self-indulgent. After all, just how much jewelry does one need? Turns out, for me, at least, a lot. Which is why, after discovering the amazing line of Chavez for Charity bracelets, I now have an excuse to indulge, not only minus the guilt, but with the knowledge that I’m actually doing something good by embracing my weakness.

Jewelry designer Julie Marie Chavez,  founder of mariechavez  jewelry designs, has long been a favorite of the Hollywood set. With her “ signature blend of carefully selected stones, charms and chains,” Chavez creates beautiful, eclectic and wonderfully wearable pieces. And now, Chavez has added a fabulous and inexpensive line of bracelets and necklaces to her collection with a special twist–each of the pieces supports one of ten charities, with 25% of the gross profit of sales going to these worthy causes.

Chavez notes that she “was taught at an early age that helping people in need is not only honorable, but necessary.” Yet, when she tried to choose a charity towards which to extend her generous spirit, she couldn’t choose just one. So, she chose ten, raising over $165,000 to date.

Including such worthy causes as, which works towards providing people in need with clean drinking water, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization focusing on childhood cancers, V-Day, a globalization organization combating violence against women and girls, and others, Chavez chooses beads and stones with a color relevant to the charity for her bracelets. Water.orgpieces are crafted in beautiful shades of blue, Alex’s Lemonade Stand in sunny yellow and V-Day in vibrant reds. Bracelets for the Matthew Shepherd Foundation are in a rainbow of colors, to remember the young man slain in an anti-gay hate crime.

Every piece is beautiful, in more ways than one. And for a jewelry lover like me, the extra benefit is the price–a mere $10 per bracelet. On a recent trip to my favorite Ocean City, NJ jewelry store, I stocked up. Recently, Chavez added a chic collection of necklaces to her offerings, all able to be worn short or long and all selling for the bargain price of $20.

If you need an early spring pick-me-up, check out the Chavez for Charity line; you can order your favorite colors online or find a store near you. A treat for you and help for those in need. A little indulgence never felt so good!

Check out Julie’s video on how to wear her very cool new necklaces, below!