Guest Author - Sharry Miller
It’s always a good thing when someone creative finds a way to recycle objects most of us would just throw away. It’s even better when the end products add beauty to the world. Paula MacMann has found a way to do just that, and to make the world a better place in other ways as well.
Paula started Chainspirations in January 2011 after retiring from her “real job.” Using recycled bicycle chain parts and anodized aluminum wire in a multitude of colors, she creates earrings, necklaces, bracelets, zipper pulls and more. To the uninitiated (non-bicycle nut) they just look like interesting, lovely jewelry. Those of us who love cycling can wear them as a badge of our passion.
Not just a jewelry maker, Paula is also trying to improve the lives of others. An avid cyclist for over 20 years, Paula feels that she has discovered a path to healthy living that offers her both physical and mental benefits. She says that her eco-friendly company’s mission is to promote healthy living. To fulfill that mission, she donates ten percent of her proceeds to non-profit organizations that also promote healthy living. She is currently supporting YMCA and Trailnet, an organization that encourages people to integrate physical activity into their daily routines.
She is also working with the Motion Initiative’s Earn-a-Bike program. This Grand Rapids, Michigan-based youth cycling ministry works to connect urban youth and adults to L.I.F.E (Life In the Fullest Extent) through the gateway of bicycling. They are disassembling chains for Chainspirations as their half of the partnership. Once taken apart, the chains are thoroughly cleaned and polished before they are integrated into a piece of jewelry.
In addition to creating from recycled items, Paula also uses recycled packaging. Each item is carefully wrapped in colorful recycled paper with an inspirational fitness quote tucked in as well. If you want an item that’s even more special to you, she’ll make your jewelry from your own bike chain at no additional cost. Doing her part to help people celebrate and inspire fitness, she hopes that wearing bike chain jewelry will help encourage fun memories of past rides come alive.
Browse Paula’s website at www.chainspirations.com and you’ll be sure to find something you like. With patriotic, Tour de France, spring, men’s and many other collections, you can raise your awareness of everyday fitness choices and look fashionable at the same time!