The name Karlande came from Andrea Sharpe’s two children – Karle and Andrew – and her father Andy Hunt. Andrea Sharpe was a teacher, and in 2005 with the assistance from two of her students she started making jewellery from pieces of beach glass and pieces of pottery picked up from local beaches – known as “Gems from the Sea”.
As owner of Karlande Designs Ltd. Andrea designed and manufactured a cancer-awareness bracelet that incorporated Swarovski crystals in 20 colours to represent the different forms of cancer. Andrea and her sister brought the bracelet to the Dr. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation to be used as a potential fundraiser. They accepted the bracelet and named it “Sparkles of Hope” which has helped to raise over $2 million towards cancer care in the Province.
At the beginning of the bracelet production, Andrea could not afford to hire people because she wanted to keep the price down in order to have 25% of the proceeds of the bracelets going to cancer awareness. She relied heavily on volunteers from the Clarenville and Placentia areas. As the volume of supplies increased, the price per unit went down, and she could afford to hire people. They organized kits containing enough materials to string 50-100 bracelets and paid individuals and groups $1.00 for each bracelet correctly strung and at peak production they had 50 kits on the go at one time. Individuals, families and groups all used these kits to string bracelets. They were returned to Karlande Design for finishing, checking and packaging. Quality control was a high priority to Andrea.
In October 2011, Andrea was awarded the NLOWE “Entrepreneur of the year award for Community impact”. As well, in October, Karlande Designs Ltd launched their new project in conjunction with the Children’s Wish Foundation “Hope Crystals” bracelet. A portion of the sales of this bracelet and related jewellery will be donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Karlande Designs has also designed a bracelet for the Autism Society. This is still in the early stages. They are also developing a line of “memory” bracelets to commemorate significant individuals who have died.
Andrea is working closely with NLOWE, Innovation, Business & Rural Development, and ACOA to grow her business. She has recently attended a WEConnect Conference in Toronto and a Trade Mission to Florida and is planning on attending other trade missions in the future in the hopes of establishing more contracts.
Andrea is in the process of getting her website www.karlandedesigns.com redesigned to make it better equipped for exporting products. Andrea participated in the Social media workshops that were organized through the College of the North Atlantic this past fall. The knowledge and the skills developed through these sessions will be used to broaden the base of customers and to expand the business.
Karlande Designs has received many positive responses to the level of customer service and individual attention given. Orders are filled the same day that they arrive. Products can be customized to individuals specifications. The jewellery designed is manufactured with high quality materials and superior workmanship. People are listened to, care is taken with their orders, service is very important to Andrea. Each bracelet has its own story!!!
The Slogan for the Company is: “You Dream – We Design”.