“I believe that within every woman, every human, lies a spark of magic. I handcraft my jewelry to empower and help them embrace their authentic self. I want to help them radiate confidence from the inside out.” –Stefanie Wolf
The word “pride” has become so controversial these days. What if we set aside animosity and replace it with kindness, and make the conscious choice to recognize that most people just want to feel a part of something, safe, and supported? There will always be extreme views that attempt to divide people, but we each have the choice to choose balance and benevolence. It’s so easy to amp each other up and escalate things. Is it possible to recognize “pride” as being true to ourselves, stepping out, so others see and feel they have a community that cares about them? We have an opportunity each day to use our experience and skills to offer more decency to each other. How will you use yours?
Stefanie Wolf is a jewelry designer on Martha’s Vineyard, with a mission to help people see the gleaming, gorgeous nature of who they are.
Wolf moved her business to the Island 14 years ago, but has evolved a great deal these past few, digging deep into her heart and soul to hone her purpose, driven by a desire to implement meaningful actions that will make a constructive impact. Last year was the first year she used her skills and success to raise funds for Save the Children, an organization that helps Ukrainian women and children escape and survive the immeasurable distress of war. She chose the colors of the Ukrainian flag to make her signature bracelets, and raised more than $9,000.
This year she wanted to follow through on something that demonstrates her support of the LGBTQ community and love of rainbows. “I love rainbows, I love color, I support people’s true self-expression, it’s part of who I am and my brand, and so I thought let’s create a bracelet for Pride,” Wolf says. One of her team members pointed out that Stefanie’s bracelets have approximately 12 beads, and there are 12 colors in the Pride Progress Flag, a clear acknowledgement of the universe aligning with her goal to, once again, give back. The Pride Progress Rainbow bracelet was launched for Pride Month, and will be available through the end of June, with a generous 50 percent of the purchase price going directly to Youth Pride M.V.
During last year’s Pride events, Stefanie and her almost teenage daughter marched in the parade, handed out stickers, wore lots of rainbows, and she carried a lot of rainbow pride items in her store, but it felt insufficient to her. She contacted Scott Mullen, founder of Queer Hub MV, the community-based group looking to change the LGBTQ landscape on Martha’s Vineyard, to ask what was really needed.
“I chose Youth Pride M.V. because living on this Island can be so isolating. In some ways it’s such a lovely place to grow up. In other ways, if you’re unique or different, or could benefit from a larger community, you may or may not find them here on the Island,” says Wolf. “I just believe really strongly that kids and adults should be allowed to love who they want, be who they are, express themselves authentically, and I feel like it starts with kids.”
Mullen appreciates having an ally in Stefanie: “It’s amazing that Stefanie chose to support our Island’s kids by donating such a large percentage of the sale of this pride bracelet to the youth group at M.V. Community Services. As with everyone on the Island, you want to do things, but you need supplies, and to bring resources to the Island to educate and support, and things cost money. This will help so much.”
Pride is a contrast to the shame so many people carry, and everyone deserves to feel a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction within themselves, their family and friends, and their community. Together we can make progress.
“Not to sound superficial, but I’m obsessed with rainbows on every level, everything about my jewelry and my store is about vibrancy and color,” Wolf says. “My products invite whoever is wearing them to be their true self, express their true personality, live their fullest expression of self. So when I thought about that, the rainbow, and the Pride movement and the local LGBTQ Island community, and it just felt like something I could do and wanted to do.”
The Pride Progress Rainbow Bracelet is available at Stefanie Wolf Designs, 37 Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs, or visit stefaniewolf.com.