Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Share a Coke; Save the Girl

Creative recycling, with sparkle!
Last Summer, I dropped a two liter bottle of Diet Coke on the concrete floor of my local Kroger and sent a geyser of the delicious but sticky caramel liquid spewing all over me and every patron in a 20 foot radius. You're familiar with the ad campaign, "Share a Diet Coke with...?" Let's just say I don't think my fellow shoppers appreciated my literal but messy interpretation of the concept. (Amazingly enough, at least, these pants survived the debacle without permanent stains)
Meet Millie!
This Summer, I've discovered a more creative (and deliberate) way to share a Diet Coke (or any soda of choice). Meet Millie Trent. Millie is a recent graduate of Avon High School who designs, fabricates, and sells creative jewelry made primarily from recycled soda cans. Some of the pieces, like my Diet Coke bracelet, display an obvious nod to their saccharine roots. While others, like her signature heart charm bracelets, are more subtle.
I wanted a bracelet that proudly showed its origin, but other jewelry Millie makes is more subtle.
In addition to her creative, entrepreneurial spirit, Millie also has deep empathy for the disadvantaged, and has made the bold, philanthropic decision to donate the proceeds from the sale of her jewelry to Care India's Save the Girl program. The mission of this program is to help Indian girls, who are often treated as second-class citizens, complete their education and break the chain of poverty that limits the choices of so many. Meanwhile, Millie, now a college Freshman, is working her way through her own education with a job at Monster Mini Golf.
The colorful heart charm bracelet is Millie's signature piece, but she's always adding new designs.
I met Millie at Danville's Handmade Market last month, and was enamored with her fun, clever pieces. She didn't have a Diet Coke bracelet at the time, but she happily took the can I had just finished as I browsed the stalls and used it to make one just for me (I had to pick it up a few days later, because I wanted it "with sparkles," of course, and those take time to prepare and dry). While she was at it, I also had her make a Diet Dr. Pepper bracelet as a surprise for my friend, Stephanie, who for indiscernible reasons prefers that beverage to my beloved DC...(I actually like Diet Dr. Pepper, too, Stephanie)
Millie can make jewelry from the beverage can of your choice.
You can check out more of Millie's recycled jewelry on her website, as well as find out about upcoming exhibits of her work. You can also join Millie and me on Wednesday, September 16th from 6 to 9 pm in downtown Indianapolis for "Recycle with Red." For just $20, the net proceeds of which will go to Save the Girl, Millie will lead you through the process of making a unique recycled necklace and bracelet of your own design, and I'll serve light refreshments to fuel your creative juices. Spots are limited for this special event. Reserve yours with an RSVP to RSDiaries@yahoo.com. I hope to see you!

Can't make it on September 16th (or even if you can), but want a chance to win your own recycled soda can bracelet featuring the beverage of your choice? Like Millie's Jewelry for Save the Girl page on FaceBook; share this blog post to your FaceBook page; and let me know you did so. I'll pick one lucky entrant at random on September 1st.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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