By Elizabeth Liberatore / Photo by Mark Morgan
For purpose-driven jewelry, Kay McDonald is your gal. After a long tenure in fashion merchandising, first as a retail buyer then a vice president of product development, she founded Regalia, an accessory business, in 1989. Little did she know that Regalia would pave the way for an impactful fashion enterprise.
“While I owned Regalia, we did events that benefitted nonprofits through the sale of our jewelry line. It dawned on me that I could create a custom line of jewelry for charities at a wholesale price and they could sell [my jewelry] at their events and venues, keeping 100 percent of the profits,” she says.
McDonald launched Charity Charms, meaningful-meets-fashionable jewelry that defines nonprofits’ brands while helping them raise awareness and funds.
“Charms have the power to tell a story, connect people in a significant way and build a legacy of love,” McDonald explains.
The company creates a custom charm from an organization’s logo, which can adorn Charity Charms’ gamut of accessories, like bracelets or keyrings. All materials are ethically and environmentally sourced from recycled pewter and sterling silver.
“It warms my heart to see women all over the world wearing charms for the charities they support.”
From nonprofits to businesses to schools, Charity Charms’ clientele is expansive and always growing. Some of the charming customers include Florence Crittenton, ChildHelp, Ronald McDonald House and The Salvation Army.
McDonald’s empire turns 15 this year. To celebrate, she revamped the company’s website to include testimonials and inspired examples and ideas. Embracelets, a sterling silver bangle, was also introduced to the product line. And in the coming months, McDonald will unveil her first book, Charms as a Food for Good.
So exactly how many charms does this charm-maker have? Over one million, which includes all of the ones she’s made for clients, charms inherited from her grandmother and charms from her travels as a fashion maven.
“The conversations I have with people that need help, the connections I make with people so passionate about what they do and the impact I feel from people dedicated to making a difference...that’s what brings meaning and fulfillment to my work,” she says.
By Mandy Holmes / Photo by Claudia Johnstone
It’s not often that a background of professional dancing lends itself to trauma, couples and addiction therapy but Trisha Bruner is breaking the mold with a resume full of celebrity backup dancing gigs and a master’s degree in advanced studies in marriage and family. When she’s not practicing individual and couples therapy at her Central Phoenix practice, Life in Motion, you can often find the ex-dancer tending to her passions of empowering women and helping others.
Bruner knew she wanted to blend her professional background with her passion for the arts into her private practice.
“Life in Motion is about moving through pain into purpose,” she says. “The logo is of an ink blot dancer, symbolizing that life and relationships are often a dance that we continue to adapt and move through. Sometimes we can get stuck, but pain can be a motivator to help people to change and break generational patterns.”
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Arizona, she returned to her hometown of Chicago and continued to dance before moving to the dancing mecca that is New York City. At the height of her dance career she toured nationally with the Radiocity Rockettes, was contracted with Cirque du Soleil, danced with contemporary companies in both Chicago and New York City, and was a backup dancer for artists such as Beyoncé, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart, and Kimberly Locke.
After realizing that her purpose in life lied outside of gigs and auditions, Bruner moved across the country and landed in Phoenix where she worked for various mental health professional before taking the leap to branch out and establish Life in Motion.
Above all, she enjoys being an accomplished entrepreneur and finds inspiration from people that have the courage to be vulnerable and share their journey with others.
“I am inspired when people let themselves be seen/heard and are unapologetically/authentically themselves,” Bruner says. “I never thought I would own my own business, so opening up my own private practice was a very significant accomplishment in my life.”