AN award-winning bridal shop has teamed up with a charity set up in memory of a much-loved North East teenager to sell their bespoke wedding rings.
Joanne Stott, owner of YAP Bridal Boutique in Newcastle, has joined forces with Jacqui Grove, of Josie’s Dragonfly Trust, to help raise money for the charity through made-to-order wedding rings and jewellery.
Joanne, who set up her boutique more than two years ago in memory of her parents, whose deaths were close together, is hoping the rings, which are unique to her store, will help boost the charity’s fundraising pot.
Jacqui set up the trust in memory of her daughter Josie, who died from cancer in 2007, to raise money for children who spend long periods in hospital.
“I met the fundraising manager who introduced me to Jacqui and Josie’s Dragonfly Trust,” said 42-year-old Joanne. I came up with the idea of them making us some bespoke pieces for us to sell. They are being launched in February.”
The trust, which has a shop in Hexham, already sells dragonfly-themed jewellery as part of its fundraising.
The dragonfly is an important part of the charity,. It was chosen by Josie and symbolises the start of a new life.
Jacqui said: “We started off talking about the dragonfly jewellery first because Joanne wanted to sell it in her shop to help the charity. I think it appealed to her because she had set up her shop in memory of her parents and she knew what we were doing, that we had set up the charity in memory of our daughter.”
She added: “The rings are made-to-order so people can have what they like and the nice thing with the dragonfly jewellery is when people come in to the wedding shop their weddings are a few months ahead so it gives us time to make something really unique for each individual person.”
The prices of the wedding rings range from £260 for a ladies nine carat band, to £1,600 for a platinum ring.
Joanne, who lives in Birtley, Gateshead, said: “Jacqui set the charity up in memory of her daughter and I set up my boutique in memory of my parents, we have now come together through that.
“We thought it was a no-brainer: why not do something together to raise money?”
The rings will be engraved with YAP, which stands for “You Are Precious”. Joanne called her boutique this because her parents, Mary and Johnny, signed this heart-felt inscription on all the cards they sent each other during their 60 years of marriage.
Both Jacqui and Joanne said the rings and dragonfly jewellery are fitting for weddings due to the dragonfly’s meaning of new beginnings.
Joanne, whose boutique has just been crowned the Best Wedding Bridal Retailer in the North East at the Wedding Industry Awards 2013, said it was great to be selling the rings for such a worthy cause.
To find out more about Josie’s Dragonfly Trust and Josie’s story visit www.josiesdragonfly.org