Lake Norman & Mooresville

Donated jewelry brings treasure for pets

Roxanne Blake, a former retailer, has taken her brain child, collaborated with friends, and turned her dream into a reality.

Blake and friends have created and trademarked Pawbrokers a nonprofit organization that benefits the homeless and needy animals in our community.

Last year, Blake attended a few home jewelry parties that boasted that some of the profit from the sales that evening would be donated to area animal shelters.

What a nice gesture she thought, but the percentage of sales being donated could not cover the cost to neuter or spay even one animal.

Blake was venting her frustration to a friend when she said she could clean out her own jewelry box, sell all her unused jewelry and raise more money for the animals than the party she attended.

The rest is history. Pawbrokers was born: "Saving Animals One Party at a Time."

Blake began soliciting for jewelry donations from friends and neighbors in The Peninsula in Cornelius. She cleaned the donated jewelry and scheduled a home jewelry party at a friend's house.

To her amazement, it was a huge success. Since there was no cost for the jewelry, Blake was able to donate 100 percent of the sales to a community animal shelter.

Blake is an animal lover and has two corgis, Maggie & Flanders, 3 1/2 years old, and a domestic long-hair cat, Mugsy, 16.

"Over the last three years I have fostered two dozen or so kittens," said Blake. "I foster until they get adopted out through Friends for Life Rescue at Petco in Huntersville."

Pawbrokers is growing at an amazing pace. After her first four parties, Pawbrokers raised over $7,500 for animal rescue.

Roxanne now partners with community businesses to host the parties. At her last event, held at Ballas Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Huntersville, Blake said, "This is great for area businesses. Over 100 people have come for this event and 80 of them had never even known this business was here before tonight."

Community businesses that host a Pawbrokers party are asked to provide appetizers and wine, along with display tables for the jewelry. Blake, 57, allows the business to help decide which organization will receive the donation from sales.

All the Pawbrokers parties are open invitation. Blake also places baskets out at every party so people can clean out their jewelry boxes beforehand and bring in donations. Handbags, belts and other accessories can also be donated and purchased. The price of the jewelry and accessories start at $1 and up.