We are so excited to announce another fantastic line with a mission for good! Threads by The Shine Project create gorgeous hand-made jewelry with a company full of inner-city teens saving money for college educations.
During Ashley LeMieux’s senior year of college, she was an aid at an inner city high school in Phoenix. She was involved in a program called AVID which prepares students to enter college after high school graduation. She noticed that most of the students didn’t feel like college was on option for them due to lack of financial resources. Frustrated, Ashley turned to her social media influence to raise money to send a group of seniors to college.
After giving 7 scholarships away, Ashley knew that raising money for these inner city youth needed to be more than a one-time thing. She founded a non-profit organization, The Shine Scholarship Project, to be able to keep getting donations for the students.
In May 2012, Ashley taught herself how to make bracelets. Her goal was to be able to employ the first few students that had received scholarships so they could keep earning money to stay in school, and have real life job experience that could set them up for success in the future. Ashley invested $500 in jewelry supplies and teaching the students how to make the jewelry out of her small two bedroom condo. One month later, in June 2012, Threads by The Shine Project launched. Ashley used her social media and friends in the blogging industry to help spread the word about the bracelets that the youth made.
Since then, The Shine Project has opened their headquarters in downtown Phoenix. It’s a place where students come after school to make your jewelry by hand. They are involved in running everything from customer service, shipping, jewelry design, t shirt design, new product design, sales, and events. The students who are given scholarships through the non-profit are given jobs through Threads, so they can be mentored and guided every step of the way.
Over 40 scholarships have been given since 2011, and 100% of donations given to the non-profit go directly to the students. Threads by The Shine Project currently employees 11 inner city students.