Combining style with philanthropy, the Knock Out Kidney Disease collection of bracelets is available for purchase to benefit the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware.
"Kidney disease is a year-round devastating epidemic that impacts 30 million people every day - including one in nine Marylanders and 2,175 Delawareans on dialysis," said Pattie Dash, executive director of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware. "We are so appreciative of the KOKD collection for spotlighting kidney health awareness in an artistic way."
Designed and handcrafted locally, the collection mixes the foundation's signature orange color with metal bits, natural agate, quartzite and hematite. Crystal details represent shining the light on kidney health awareness.
"These bracelets are two gifts in one for just in time for the holidays and the perfect color combination for any Baltimore Orioles fan," Dash said. "It's a beautiful keepsake for your loved one and the purchase benefits the patients we serve who are living with kidney disease."
Each special trinket possesses its own unique design, while each complementary combination of beads and charms has its own meaning and healing properties.
"The KOKD collection is simple, yet so intricate and detailed with various materials, personality accents and healing minerals to encourage peace and love energy while telling a colorful story," said creator Sam Smith, founder of New Vintage by Sam, a Baltimore-based accessory and apparel brand that fuses vintage, art and modern design.
Four designs are available in three different bead sizes: itty bitty, 6mm, for $20; midi bitty, 8mm, for $25; and midi, 10mm, for $30. All products are packaged in a linen dust bag with a special thank you from Smith.
An entrepreneur introduced to fashion and design at an early age, Smith taught herself how to draw and create wearable art. In high school, she participated in several local fashion shows and productions as both a designer and model. While attending Morgan State University, Smith continued to hone her design skills while pursuing a degree in health education. Shortly after graduating in 2007, she created New Vintage by Sam.
"My brand is a true reflection of me: quirky, fun, colorful, tastefully rebellious, always fabulous and designed with love," she said.
Smith strives to align her artistry with philanthropy. This particular cause is personal as her father has diabetes – a condition that often leads to kidney disease – and her grandmother had kidney failure. "I'm predisposed to kidney disease and want to do my part in spreading the word that others could be at risk," she said.
With that in mind, 20 percent of the proceeds from each KOKD sale will be donated to the foundation. For more information or to purchase a bracelet, go to newvintagebysam.com/product/kokd-collection and kidneymd.org/stories/knock-out-kidney-disease.