Out & About: Sabika jewelry raises funds for CASA of Westmoreland
At the CASA of Westmoreland Sabikakids fundraiser April 13 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, 50 percent of Sabika sales were donated to CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates who provide assistance to abused or neglected children in the family court system.
Sabika founder and CEO Karin Mayr was 50 in 2001 when she founded Sabika, a direct sales jewelry company headquartered in Robinson, after becoming disillusioned with working in a male-dominated fashion industry.
“I wasn't heard,” Mayr said. “I wanted a company where people have a say.”
She now finds strength through empowering others.
Women artisans hand-create Sabika pieces and independent consultants sell them, sometimes raking in six figures with flexible schedules that allow plenty of time for family.
Daughter Miriam Mayr often models the product and is manager of sales. Daughter Alexandra Mayr-Gracik designed the Little Hearts Sabika Daisy Collection, and during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, Sabika donates $15 from each sale to child abuse prevention programs.
Karin Mayr — at the CASA event with her husband, Konrad — said her generosity sometimes gives her accountant a headache. But offering opportunities to others helps heal her painful past of hunger and abuse growing up in Austria and Germany, when her only respite was an occasional visit with her grandmother Frieda, who lived far away.
Mayr's happiest times during childhood were spent with her grandmother in her flower garden. Those memories now represent hope, explaining why flowers have been incorporated into Sabika designs.
“I swear she comes to me in a flower,” Mayr said. “I always wanted to help people in my place.”
Seen: CASA executive director Mandy Zalich and development director Sherrie Dunlap, Lisa Hegedus, Rosemary Spoljarick, Beth Teacher, Mary Lou Hugus, Mitchell Samick, Janelle Mathe and Meredith King.